The Venetian Mask – guest reviewer
I have surrounded myself with readers. This certainly isn’t a bad thing, especially when I’m in need of a book recommendation. Usually our conversations starts with “so, what are you reading now?” I get some of the most wonderful recommendations from my friends and am happy to share a good book I’ve found with them.
Having said that, recently when my girlfriend (who is also a member of my book club) stopped by, our conversation naturally turned to books. I had received The Venetian Mask by Rosalind Laker from Three Rivers Press not too long ago and gave it to Nicole to read. She even agreed to write a review for my blog, which you can see below. She has also started her own book blog, having written only a couple posts so far. It would be wonderful if you guys could stop by her blog Book Escape and give her a nice welcome and also let her know what you think makes a good book review on a book blog. Thanks!
Review by Nicole: I was at my friend Stephanie’s house the other day talking about books (something we do a lot). I told her I was on an historical fiction kick and she offered me her copy of The Venetian Mask by Rosalind Laker. The only catch was that I had to write a review of the book for her blog (I know, not much of a catch for a free book to read)!
After dropping my little ones off at school, setting the kitchen timer so I wouldn’t forget to pick them up from school on time and getting comfortable on my couch, I looked at the back cover of the book to get an idea about the content. The Venetian Mask takes place in Venice during the 18th century where two girls, Marietta and Elena, meet in a music school for orphaned girls. They become the best of friends but once they reach marrying age, they end up marrying archenemies. This book is the story of these two young women’s lives in Venice. Sounds pretty good, right?
As I started reading the first chapter though, my eyes grew heavy. The book just didn’t grab me like I hoped. I barely made it through the first chapter before dosing off. Next thing I know, the timer is going off and I have to get my kids from school. Clearly not a good start…
But, have no fear, once Marietta made it to Venice and started her life at the music school, I got hooked. I really liked Marietta’s character as well as her friend Elena. I felt all the characters in the book were very well described and I cared about the two girls. I hated the bad guys and loved the good ones.
Descriptions of Venice during Carnival and later during Bonaparte’s occupation were phenomenal. I could picture the colorful masks and costumes, the beautiful architecture and elegant parties. It was easy to be drawn into the scene.
The story included all the aspects of a good book – romance, intrigue, mystery, good versus evil, loyalty and friendship. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction, just make sure to get through the slow first chapter!