Loredana: A Venetian Tale

Lauro Martines, Author
Lauro Martines, Author . St. Martin's/Dunne $23.95 (261p) ISBN 978-0-312-34751-2
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-0-224-07253-3
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-4481-3982-8
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-4668-4813-9
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-09-946586-7
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The vivid written confessions of a lustful young widow, the eponymous Loredana, and Orso, a Dominican friar with a liberal interpretation of his ecclesiastic vows, are the backbone of this engrossing tale set during the intrigues of Renaissance Venice's Council of Ten. Although the epistolary form can be a cumbersome means of novelistic expression, it is one Martines skillfully manipulates, bringing to life the opulence and grandeur—and the rigid social strata and dark political schemes—of la Serenissima . High-born Loredana begins her lengthy written confession with a chronicle of her disastrous marriage to the abusive Marco, who'd rather have his male lovers seduce her than touch her himself. Orso's confessions (also to Father Clemente) are interspersed; their revelations include his desire for a new Venice, in which the poor would not be kept in filth and darkness while the rich dine sumptuously in sun-filled palazzos. When Loredana returns to her father's home, she begins a life of study and introspection—and then meets Orso. Diary entries by others involved reveal the scandal that the union between Orso and Loredana causes in Venice, which brings the full force of a holy inquisition upon them. Martines's background as a scholar of the Italian Renaissance serves him well in this delicious page-turner of politics and lust. (Dec.)

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