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October 6, 2012 / Rae Spencer

Review: A House Near Luccoli

A House Near Luccoli: A Novel of Musical Intimacy & Intrigue in 17th Century Genoa by DM Denton (All Things That Matter Press, 2012)

Every facet of this book is wrapped in beautiful language. The plot and setting, characters and pace, all live within layers of poetry:

“…Nonna blamed a tendency to malinconia on her granddaughter’s English side with too much rain in her blood. As if climate could be inherited…” (pg 20)

“She wanted to show ability beyond the ladylike diversion of scribbling thoughts or painting in a journal, obsessing over the responsibility for something greater than nothing better to do.” (pg 35)

“She hoped they would be early or late to avoid scrutiny, but they were on time for her to be judged as an unescorted woman passing through a hall made for giants…” (pg 71)

I know very little about classical music or opera, and even less about 17th century Genoa, so the book unfolded for me as a lovely riddle. Musical terminology and Italian words added ambience, even as I stumbled over their strangeness. Scenes hid behind place names, ambled through unfamiliar streets and landmarks. But the story never failed me. I never felt forced out of the plot or detached from the characters.

The book’s “Intimacy & Intrigue” are subtle, a veiled background of motive. The settings are lush, the characters complex, and the pace measured. It’s an intricate portrait of loneliness, of the fragile passions that inspire music.

  • Find the author’s website here.
  • Find the author’s blog here.

I can’t resist adding a photo. These doves, lit by the setting sun, reminded me of musical notes.

6 Comments

  1. Jeanette Gallagher / Oct 7 2012 3:00 PM

    Sounds like a very interesting book since I love beautiful language and plot, etc living within layers of poetry to quote your great review! I love that you’re reviewing books, Rae. I believe you’re off to a fantastic start!

  2. Sharon Poch / Oct 7 2012 11:01 PM

    Your review attends to the evocative poetic prose in a plot that seems to allow entry into a time, a place floating on the magic of music (loved the bird photo). It inspired me to visit the author’s web site . . . I intend to purchase this book based on your review.
    Shar

  3. lynnwyvill / Oct 9 2012 11:52 AM

    Thanks for the book review and adding the photo. They do look like musical notes. It made me smile!

  4. bardessdmdenton / Oct 15 2012 3:53 PM

    Reblogged this on bardessdmdenton – prose, poetry and painting and commented:
    Thank you, Rae, for your generous reflection on my novel! Please, everyone, have a wander over to Rae’s blog which includes her publication links (of her own excellent poetry), some of her favorite poems, and other interesting reflections.

  5. Laurel's Reflections / Oct 15 2012 4:28 PM

    Reblogged this on Laurel's Reflections and commented:
    I am excited about finally getting my hands on DM Denton’s novel soon – and this review just made me even more so!

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