Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The Garden of Angels

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The Garden of Angels is an immersive thriller with a definite "destination fiction" element (Venice) beautifully written by David Hewson. Originally released in 2011, this new reformat and re-release from Severn House is 320 pages and is available in hardcover and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. It makes it so easy to find info quickly with the search function.

This is such a beautifully written and crafted book. The interwoven timelines and juxtaposition of the (mostly) unchanging physical city contrasted with the sometimes desperate, short, muddled, and tragic lives of its inhabitants is powerfully metaphorical and effective. I loved that nearly all the characters were nuanced. Few of them were *truly* evil or good and the author does a very good job of portraying them believably. 

The historical mystery elements are cleverly done and though the plot is slow at the beginning (it's a complex story, deeply told), it kept me engaged and never lost me. I was a teenager the last time I visited Venice and the author's intimate knowledge of the city historically and currently is impressive and filled me with a desire to visit again. 

Five stars. This is one of my better reads for 2021 thus far. I would unhesitatingly recommend it to readers of historical fiction, mystery, and well written family saga.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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