Award-winning historical fiction set in 16th-century Venice
Benjamin Franklin Digital AwardIPPY Award for Best Adult Fiction E-bookNational Indie Excellence Award FinalistEric Hoffer Award FinalistShortlisted for the da Vinci Eye Prize
From the author of Made in Italy comes a tale of artisanal tradition and family bonds set in one of the world's most magnificent settings: Renaissance Venice.
Venetian gondola-maker Luca Vianello considers his whole life arranged. His father charted a course for his eldest son from the day he was born, and Luca is positioned to inherit one of the city's most esteemed boatyards. But when Luca experiences an unexpected tragedy in the boatyard, he believes that his destiny lies elsewhere. Soon he finds himself drawn to restore an antique gondola with the dream of taking a girl for a ride.
The Gondola Maker brings the centuries-old art of gondola-making to life in the tale of a young man's complicated relationship with his master-craftsman father. Lovers of historical fiction will appreciate the authentic details of gondola craftsmanship, along with an intimate first-person narrative set against the richly textured backdrop of 16th-century Venice.
A Venetian page-turner
"I'm a big fan of Venice, so I appreciate Laura Morelli's special knowledge of the city, the period, and the process of gondola-making. An especially compelling story." --Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun
"Laura Morelli has done her research, or perhaps she was an Italian carpenter in another life. One can literally smell and feel the grain of finely turned wood in her hands." --Pamela Sheldon Johns, author of Italian Food Artisans
"Romance, intrigue, family loyalty, pride, and redemption set against the backdrop of Renaissance Italy." --Library of Clean Reads
"Beautiful, powerful evocation of the characters, the place, and the time. An elegant and thoroughly engaging narrative voice." --Mark Spencer, author of Fiction Club: A Concise Guide to Writing Good Fiction
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Sixteenth-century Venice is the star of Morelli s well-crafted historical novel about teenage Luca Vianello, the eldest son and heir of the city s most renowned gondola builder. After his beloved mother dies during childbirth at the age of 44, Luca argues with his father and blames him for the tragedy. In a rage, Luca accidently sets fire to his father s workshop and leaves home. Luca works a succession of menial jobs under an alias, until he becomes the personal gondolier of a noted artist named Trevisan and finds himself smitten with a stunning young woman whom Trevisan is painting. While a wealth of period lore and beautifully rendered setting the city s unique sounds, smells, and heritage dominate her novel, Morelli creates poignantly convincing characters in this handsome coming-of-age novel about adoration, pain, and destiny.
The Gondola Maker
I love Italy and Venice is amazing. The author has written a story that was so easy to feel both sympathy and compassion for the characters. Good book.
The detail on the day to day lives of the characters really weaves a rich tapestry of the era. Interesting story, beautifully told. Well worth the read.
Lots of fun
Not my usual genre of reading but this sucked me in and wouldn't let me out. Great characters and a lot of fun to read. Now I have to find a way back to Venice.