The Remedy

Michelle Lovric, Author . Regan $25.95 (441p) ISBN 978-0-06-083703-7

Set in London and Venice during the late 18th century, Lovric's labyrinthine, grandly imagined second novel (after The Floating City ) follows the dramatic vicissitudes of the love affair between the Venetian actress Mimosina Dolcezza and the Irish-born Valentine Greatrakes. The narrative opens with the first-person tale of a lovely, tempestuous aristocratic girl's banishment to a Venetian convent, where her rebellious nature doesn't endear her to the holy sisters. They prostitute her to an Englishman, who impregnates and abandons her. After her baby dies in childbirth, she attempts escape, which only lands her in the clutches of a shadowy group of men: the Council of 10 and the Inquisitors of Venice. They train the young blue blood as an actress-spy and rename her Mimosina Dolcezza. Charged to seduce men of state and extract their secrets, Mimosina spends the next 16 years "warming political beds" across Europe, a career that becomes all the more unbearable when she meets her true love, Valentine Greatrakes, the handsome kingpin of London's medical black-market. Their stories alternate throughout the novel, as Lovric details in titillating but fresh, graceful prose the blossoming and sundering of their love, followed by their difficult journeys toward reunion and a final miraculous revelation. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 11/07/2005
Release date: 12/01/2005
Paperback - 441 pages - 978-0-06-085986-2
Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-06-201359-0
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