Miss Garnet's Angel
by Salley Vickers
What it's about:
After the death of her longtime friend and flatmate, retired British history teacher Julia Garnet does something completely out of character: She takes a six-month rental on a modest appartamento in Venice. An atheist, a Communist, and a virgin, Julia finds herself falling beneath the seductive spell of the city's intoxicating beauty and sensual religiosity. She befriends a young Italian boy and English twins who are restoring a fourteenth-century chapel. And she falls in love for the first time in her life with an art dealer named Carlo. (from amazon)
Why I read it:
Venice in February, TBR Double Dare
What I liked:
Character development: Miss Garnet's spiritual and emotional transformation was very well done.
Setting: Venice is such an appealing setting. It's practically a character here.
Map: I love maps! This map of the city includes characters' apartments, significant historic sites, and canals.
What I didn't like:
The alternating story of Tobias and the Archangel Raphael (from the Apocryphal Book of Tobit), while necessary to overall understanding, slowed things down. I was always anxious to return to Julia's story.
A favorite passage:
"The dark green water-weathered doors lay open back. Stepping through the vestibule she made out a procession of candles punctuating the fine gloom with little swaying hollows of light. As she stood the notes of a chant started up. What a strange world she had entered coming to Venice; a world of strange rituals, penumbras, rapture. Timidity crept over her, the old insidious sense of not belonging, and she stepped back out of the wax-laden smell into the harshness of the foggy air." page 68My Rating: