By the Grand Canal
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Date: January 2006
Duration: 6 hours 21 minutes
In the aftermath of the First World War, Hugh Thurne, a British diplomat involved in the peace negotiations, finds solace in his rented palazzo in Venice rather than returning to his wife and the charade of his marriage in London. Although profoundly disturbed about the long-term prospects for peace, he has faith in the city's power to raise his spirits. Hugh eagerly looks forward to visits with his old friends Giocomo and Valentina Venier in their dilapidated palazzo on the Grand Canal to dallying with a young opera singer, Emanuela; and to the arrival of violet Mancroft, the widow of his best friend lost in the war. What he does not anticipate is the shadow lying over the Venier family's future. Nor has he reckoned with the vagaries of his own heart. Evoking the beauty of Venice, this is a novel about premonition for the future and the war it portends, about death and memory, and also about an unexpected love between two old friends.
"[Rivière] probes every nook of his characters' being...His creations are fragile objects but a delight to observe."-Times Literary Supplement