Let There Be Lit – A Stopover in Venice by Kathryn Walker
I have to be honest. If it weren’t for this blog, I am not sure I would have finished this book. It was BORING for the first 250 pages. Then, there were about 40 pages worth reading only to revert back to BORING. The author didn’t use any quotation marks when writing dialog, which made the novel miserably hard to read. The book droned on and on about an unhappy marriage. The protagonist and narrator complained incessantly about her husband’s selfishness, but I actually felt sorry for the guy. She seemed needy and as if she enabled him in being self-absorbed for years only to then blame him for it. Finally, after complaining about her marriage and a lost love, the author had sufficiently set the background for the heart of the story – a love affair between two painters.
The 40 interesting pages of the book are a diary kept by a young artist named Clara as she falls in love with a talented painter named Z in early 1500s Venice. Their story is sweet, sad and hopeful – which is an intoxicating mix. I think the author could have set up their story in 5 pages rather than 250, published this as a short-story or novella and produced a much better piece of writing. As it is, I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone; too much sand to shift through before uncovering the buried treasure.
Stay tuned tomorrow for my room inspired by the book. This will be a challenge…
Next month’s selection is A Simple Plan by Scott Smith.