Archives for category: For YA – Adult

The Wishing Bones

Published by Orion Books

‘Let’s not be counting our vultures,

till they be hatched.’

Those of you who frequent Waterstones Finchley Road O2 will be well aware of my passion (I think that’s the best word to describe it) for Michelle Lovric’s Undrowned Child – which I reviewed way back in 2009 on and then again, a few years later and since then a number of times on my blog.

This is Michelle’s most recent Venetian tale. Once more, not for the feint-hearted: a story of murders, mystery and mermaids. A different tale – one of orphans, reliquaries and the trade in sacred relics…and so much more.

Another volume that seems to have been well and truly soaked in the waters of the canals in Venice. If you have read The Undrowned Child then this is one to reawaken that urge to visit Venice whether literally or within the boards of a book. If you haven’t read The Undrowned Child, (I can’t see why you might not), then these two volumes make a wonderful pair of Venetian mysteries and will without doubt encourage you to visit (should you not have done so already), or to return to La Serenissima.

This then is a story of reliquaries and the trade in the remains of saints. If all the claims made around various saints are true, then a number of them, it would seem, had more than the usual quota of limbs, amongst other things. This story is about where those may have come from. A story that is as dark as many of the stories that colour Venice’s history.

Not for the feint-hearted, as I said, but a book for those who can acknowledge the darker side of this extraordinary city,  a book like no other. Apart from that other one, I may have mentioned…

Image result for girl with the pearl earring book bonnier

Published by Borough Press

I don’t usually stray into the Adult’s section. I recently did so after a discussion with someone who mentioned I might like Chevalier’s books.

My grandfather used to take me pretty regularly to the Wallace Collection in London. We would wander the pictures and decide on the quality of the paintings on show. If a piece of cloth looked real, what the expression on the face said about the sitter. A sort of art appreciation, not that it was formal in any way – a time I remember with pleasure. Those trips probably set the basis for my enjoyment of pictures – of being happy just to look and perhaps see something a little different.

This is a possible story of The Girl with the Pearl Earring. That picture and that girl – it is a possible story of the girl, with the pearl earring too.  It is a story with all the artistic detail which has made me look at it again – it is a very fine picture and the pearl? The pearl does complete it. The cover of my paperback had the image reproduced on it.

If I cover the pearl with my thumb, something is definitely missing.

This is a history if you will of a painting, but also of the people in Vermeer’s life – and a small biography of the artist too. I have never been to the Netherlands – but now am thinking of a trip. I have always loved Dutch paintings – I love the detail….