The Gondola Maker
written by Laura Morelli
published by Laura Morelli
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Did I enjoy this book: It was ok in its best moments.
If I hadn’t agreed to read this book to write a review, I’d have stopped reading at chapter 17 – that’s the moment the story went way off the rails for me.
I was reading the story from the first person point of view of a gondola maker. He’s pretty much an every day guy except he caught his father’s boat on fire and ran away from his family. Or at least that’s what I thought the story was about.
In Chapter 17, a new character jumps in the novel to show us his life from the third person point of view. This guy is some pervert who pays men to let him rape their daughters and then paint pictures of them.
It was like fictional whiplash. Where did that come from? And while she had minimal grammatical issues, this already awkward chapter said, “After the fact, she is no longer be marriageable anyway.”
Major unexplained point of view shifts coupled with a typo that makes the sentence nonsensical killed the story right there in Chapter 17.
Since I agreed to review the book I kept reading, but from that point on I was grouchy. A grouchy reviewer notices sentences like the one that began Chapter 25, “Morning sunbeams streak down the canal, imparting radiance to even the most dingy facades, and I feel I can smell the arrival of spring.”
A run-on sentence with two unrelated topics? Now I’m really grouchy.
Fiction is hard. This read more like non-fiction with flowery language. We need dynamic heroes, revolting villains, conflict, conflict, and did I mention conflict?
Would I recommend it: No.
About the book – from Goodreads: In 16th-century Venice, the heir to a family boatyard rejects his destiny but is drawn to restore an old gondola with the dream of taking a girl for a ride.
Luca Vianello is the heir to the city’s most esteemed gondola-making family. But when an accidental tragedy strikes the boatyard, Luca believes his true calling lies elsewhere. Readers will appreciate the authentic details of gondola craftsmanship along with a captivating tale of artisanal tradition and family bonds set in one of the world’s most magnificent settings: Renaissance Venice.