The Gondola Maker – A Book Review

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The setting is Renaissance Venice.  Wouldn’t you know it?  That’s one of my favorite subjects, so when presented with the opportunity from Italy Book Tours to review the newest book by Laura Morelli, I jumped on the bandwagon right away.  And boy am I glad I did!  The book was everything I wanted it to be…and more!

Laura Morelli, the author of several shopper’s guides – Made in Italy, Made in France, and Made in the Southwest – has done a wonderful job bringing Renaissance Venice to life in her first novel.

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The Gondola Maker follows the story of young Luca, the heir to one of the best gondola-making families in Venice.  After the death of his mother and a terrible fire that destroyed the gondola “factory”, Luca left the only life he had ever known and went off on his own.  His adventures in “Our Most Serene Republic” take him from some awful lows to moments of extreme pride and accomplishment.  Laura’s vivid descriptions of everything – from the plush fabrics used to decorate the gondolas and the garments worn by the noblemen, to the stench of the sewage-filled canals – makes you feel as if you’ve ventured back 500 years with all the romance and strife of life in a Venice so different from today.

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Luca’s passionate attention to his craft of restoring and creating the beautiful work of art that is the Venetian gondola makes us appreciate, all the more, this unique mode of transportation that is so synonymous with Venice, itself.  And anyone with a passion for creating art will relate to that most innate passion that is part of one’s being and cannot be taken away, no matter the circumstances.

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I can promise you that after you read this book, you will pay careful attention to every detail of the next gondola that you ride in – once you get to Venice, of course, and fork over the 100 euros it takes to ride one of these beauties through those same canals and by those same richly decorated palaces of so many years ago.

The Gondola Maker has won several awards including:

IPPY Award for Best Adult Fiction E-book 
Finalist for the National Indie Excellence Award 
Finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award 
Shortlisted for the da Vinci Eye Prize 

Here’s a little bit about Laura Morelli, the author of this great book:

View More: http://sarahdeshawphotographers.pass.us/laura-morelli

Laura Morelli earned a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, where she was a Bass Writing Fellow and an Andrew W. Mellon Doctoral Fellow. She has taught college art history in the U.S. and at Trinity College in Rome. She is the creator of the authentic guidebook series that includes Made in ItalyMade in France, and Made in the Southwest, published by Rizzoli. Laura is a frequent contributor to National Geographic Traveler and other national magazines and newspapers. A native of coastal Georgia, she is married and is busy raising four children. The Gondola Maker is her first work of fiction.

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Would you like to win a copy of her book?

Just click here, a Rafflecopter giveaway, and you will have the chance to get your very own copy FREE!

Of course, you can also purchase the book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Book Depository.

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5 responses »

  1. Hi Barbara

    Boy was this post ever timely for me. I just happened to be in Venezia when I read it (also the same day you posted it). I’ve been in Firenze for 3 weeks but am heading back tomorrow. Hope all is well with you

    • So great to hear from you, Henry! Glad to hear you’re enjoying beautiful Venice and Italy! Did you take a look at the artistry on the gondolas after reading this? I’m sure to pay more attention to them the next time I’m there, which by the way will be during Carnevale! Have a safe trip back and thanks for your comment! Come back again 🙂

  2. Carnevale in Venezia! Sounds fabulous, have a great time. Yes, I did pay more attention to the artistry on the gondolas after reading your comments…truly amazing! I only took a day trip (without a map so I could wander about in the non tourist areas) and had forgotten what an incredible city Venice is. I”m getting the apartment in order tonight before leaving. Buona notte, devo alzare presto domani.

    • I’m glad you wandered in Venice – honestly, I think that is the best way to experience this incredible place! Last time, though, we lost our way and couldn’t find our way back to Piazza San Marco! We had to ask a local! Ha! Ha! Have a wonderful trip back home.

  3. Pingback: The Gondola Maker - Food Lover's OdysseyFood Lover's Odyssey

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