cover image The Gondola Maker

The Gondola Maker

Laura Morelli. Laura Morelli, $12.49 paper (335p) ISBN 978-0-9893671-0-3

Sixteenth-century Venice is the star of Morelli%E2%80%99s well-crafted historical novel about teenage Luca Vianello, the eldest son and heir of the city%E2%80%99s 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%E2%80%99s 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%E2%80%94the city%E2%80%99s unique sounds, smells, and heritage%E2%80%94dominate her novel, Morelli creates poignantly convincing characters in this handsome coming-of-age novel about adoration, pain, and destiny.