Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Remedy by Michelle Lovric (TerriLynn)

Disclaimer: I love Venice-- love, adore, worship, venerate, idolize, cherish, fancy, like-- you get the picture. So any book that is set in Venice, even partially (The Remedy moves between 18th century Venice and London) I'm going to read. And most, unless just horribly written, I'm going to enjoy, especially if the author really knows Venice. And Michelle Lovric really knows Venice. She also knows how to write in the voices of believable intriguing characters and spin an interesting yarn as she proved in the The Floating Book. The Remedy doesn't disappoint. Lately it seems the books I've read are ones in which narration alternates between time and character and this is another one of those novels but done more deftly than most. Valentine and Mimosina tell the stories of their lives and their relationship, and while the reader is privy to the lies they tell each other (sins of commission as well as omission) you keep reading to find out what happens when they each get found out and how the situation is going to be resolved. Will true love, even among thieves, con artists, courtesans and murderers, win in the end? Read this book to find out, and also to find out why you should think twice before taking sweets from a nun . . .

The only criticism I have of the novel are the chapter headings with "recipes" for cures drawn from an early 18th century pharmacology book. As some of the chapters are only a few pages long, the headings became more annoying than enlightening so I ended up skipping them as they interrupted the flow of the story.

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