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A Stopover in Venice    by Kathryn Walker order for
Stopover in Venice
by Kathryn Walker
Order:  USA  Can
Anchor, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

The city of Venice has been for centuries an irresistible attraction for artists, lovers and tourists. Kathryn Walker has combined all for a very contemporary view of life and an interesting historical perspective.

Nel, a young woman whose marriage is troubled, has landed in Venice, and her rescue of a stray dog leads her to a countess and a puzzle. The countess lives in a former abbey, in which are several frescoes that might be attributed to Giorgione, a 15th-century Renaissance painter. Nel is invited to stay with the countess and, together with art historians and restoration experts, helps her with this exciting discovery.

We learn as much as it is possible to know about Giorgione and his work. There is much uncertainty surrounding it, and very few paintings have survived that can be identified for certain as his. Walker has woven in a lovely story of his private life, which provides us an illuminating view of what it was like to live in Venice in the 1500s. At the same time, Nel begins to realize what she must do to reclaim her own life.

All this is beautifully told in the city and sights of Venice. The water, the light, the atmosphere of the city have an enchantment that is unique. Nel, refreshed and reborn, becomes armed and able to face the mistakes of her past life and to discover her future life with newfound courage.

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