No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Thursday, March 31, 2005

#24: A Thousand Days in Venice: An Unexpected Romance -- Marlena de Blasi

Non-fiction, which I hadn't realised until I was about halfway through: it was a present from a friend, and I hadn't checked the classification.

The author -- a middle-aged American with passions for food, interior design and living life to the full -- met and married a Venetian banker. This is her account of the first three years of their marriage: Fernando, the man she agrees to marry mere weeks after meeting him, gradually becomes less 'the stranger' who she doesn't understand, and more 'my husband'. De Blasi's style is rich and baroque, occasionally to excess, and she writes her life as though she were living in a novel, with an eye for detail and vignette. There's a faint, annoying whiff of American superiority, and a coyness that can be vexing (she tells us it's a grand passion, but there's little evidence of that). But on the other hand, she includes gourmet recipes that made me, lying on a Cyprus beach, wish I was within 100 miles of an Italian delicatessen; and her depictions of the people she meets in Venice, and of Venice itself, are vivid and interesting.

reposted here from LJ in order to keep all my reviews in one place

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