I read this book because it fulfills one of my reading challenge categories: “A book set in a place where you want to go on vacation.” I also tend to be more open to books by authors who share my surname. I don’t go looking for them, but if I come across one, I’ll give it more of a chance.
First, I love books where the setting isn’t just a setting, but it is a true character in a book. I feel like I got a sense of the melancholy beauty of Venice and the art that can be found there, as well as how it affects the inhabitants (especially the main character).
I found the writing style and language to be a little outside of my comfort zone. The plot and character development was really subtle and slow-moving to me, but I stuck with it because I had a sense that there would be a payoff at the end.
This was a realistic personal growth story. There weren’t a lot of fireworks, just a lot of slow realizations and contemplation. The main character couldn’t even fully define how she was being changed throughout the book, and my own evolution while reading the book mirrored hers. I couldn’t define it, but then, similar to the main character, about 75% in, I suddenly fell into existential angst and wanted to throw open the window and scream, “What does it all mean?!” (referring to our conscious inhabitation of our bodies, not the book).