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Two impossible love stories are fatefully connected by one artistic legacy in a stunning debut that leaps between the mysteries of late Renaissance Venice and the dramas of present-day Connecticut. In the months following her beloved father's death, introverted book restorer Rose has found solace in her work. But on one rainy Connecticut afternoon, struggling painter Willia Two impossible love stories are fatefully connected by one artistic legacy in a stunning debut that leaps between the mysteries of late Renaissance Venice and the dramas of present-day Connecticut. In the months following her beloved father's death, introverted book restorer Rose has found solace in her work. But on one rainy Connecticut afternoon, struggling painter William Lomazzo appears at her door. He brings with him a sixteenth-century treatise on art, left remarkably intact; Rose is quickly able to identify the pages as a palimpsest, a document written over a hidden text that had purposely been scraped away. Yet the restoration poses a confounding issue: Rose and William--a married man--are captivated by one another, an unspoken attraction linking them almost instantly. Five centuries earlier, Renaissance-era Venetians find themselves at the mercy of an encroaching Ottoman fleet, preparing for a bloody war. Giovanni Lomazzo, a respected portrait artist still grappling with the death of his wife and young son, is terrified to discover his vision declining with each passing day, forcing him to document his every encounter as he faces the possibility of a completely dark, colorless world. Commissioned to paint the enchanting courtesan of one of Venice's most respected military commanders--what may very well be his final artistic feat--Gio soon finds himself enraptured by a dangerous, magnificent forbidden love. All the while, the threat of the Ottoman Empire looms as the rival army hopes to lay siege to the port city. Spellbound by Gio's revelations, Rose and William find themselves forced to confront the reality of their own mystifying connection. A richly detailed page-turner shadowed by one of history's darkest times, The Lost Diary of Venice weaves a heartbreakingly vivid portrait of two vastly different worlds and two tales of entrancing, unrelenting love.


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Two impossible love stories are fatefully connected by one artistic legacy in a stunning debut that leaps between the mysteries of late Renaissance Venice and the dramas of present-day Connecticut. In the months following her beloved father's death, introverted book restorer Rose has found solace in her work. But on one rainy Connecticut afternoon, struggling painter Willia Two impossible love stories are fatefully connected by one artistic legacy in a stunning debut that leaps between the mysteries of late Renaissance Venice and the dramas of present-day Connecticut. In the months following her beloved father's death, introverted book restorer Rose has found solace in her work. But on one rainy Connecticut afternoon, struggling painter William Lomazzo appears at her door. He brings with him a sixteenth-century treatise on art, left remarkably intact; Rose is quickly able to identify the pages as a palimpsest, a document written over a hidden text that had purposely been scraped away. Yet the restoration poses a confounding issue: Rose and William--a married man--are captivated by one another, an unspoken attraction linking them almost instantly. Five centuries earlier, Renaissance-era Venetians find themselves at the mercy of an encroaching Ottoman fleet, preparing for a bloody war. Giovanni Lomazzo, a respected portrait artist still grappling with the death of his wife and young son, is terrified to discover his vision declining with each passing day, forcing him to document his every encounter as he faces the possibility of a completely dark, colorless world. Commissioned to paint the enchanting courtesan of one of Venice's most respected military commanders--what may very well be his final artistic feat--Gio soon finds himself enraptured by a dangerous, magnificent forbidden love. All the while, the threat of the Ottoman Empire looms as the rival army hopes to lay siege to the port city. Spellbound by Gio's revelations, Rose and William find themselves forced to confront the reality of their own mystifying connection. A richly detailed page-turner shadowed by one of history's darkest times, The Lost Diary of Venice weaves a heartbreakingly vivid portrait of two vastly different worlds and two tales of entrancing, unrelenting love.

30 review for The Lost Diary of Venice

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emer (A Little Haze)

    This was a very entertaining read that wove together two timelines in a most compelling fashion. In present day USA an artist named William brings an old book that apears to be a treatise on art written by his ancestor Giovanni Lomazzo to a restorer named Rose who works out of her bookshop near a university campus. As Rose begins working on the book, she discovers that the manuscript is in fact a palimpsest and contains diary entries and repeated sketches of a young unidentified woman. Rose find This was a very entertaining read that wove together two timelines in a most compelling fashion. In present day USA an artist named William brings an old book that apears to be a treatise on art written by his ancestor Giovanni Lomazzo to a restorer named Rose who works out of her bookshop near a university campus. As Rose begins working on the book, she discovers that the manuscript is in fact a palimpsest and contains diary entries and repeated sketches of a young unidentified woman. Rose finds herself intoxicated by the story of Giovanni and his love for this mysterious woman he has sketched in the book, and this becomes mirrored in Rose’s own life as she becomes more and more drawn to William and the two develop a deep connection to each other despite William’s marital status. In 1570’s Venice we follow the story of Giovanni and his forbidden love affair with a courtesan named Chiara that is set against the backdrop of the Ottoman-Venetian War. I rather enjoyed this romantic novel with a distinct historical fiction aspect. I found myself very invested in both timelines and for much of the book I was unsure as to how events would pan out and was therefore incredibly eager to get to the end so I would know everything! I especially was completely blindsided by a late plot development in the 1570s timeline that sent me reeling! The book essentially gives us two forbidden love stories that are forbidden for different reasons and it’s the contrast between both that makes for thought provoking reading. I felt that the current timeline following Rose and her interactions with William was perfectly played. In what could be described as somewhat of a risky move for such a romance heavy novel, this timeline toyed with the idea of infidelity and what it truly means to love someone. I was very much touched by Rose’s loneliness and truly felt her longing for something more in life. I also really loved the inclusion of Rose’s family storyline especially her interactions with her sister; it helped to flesh out Rose as a character and added to my ability to empathise with her plight. I was less of a fan of William because hello!!! You’re married you douchebag!!! BUT this made him all the more compelling to read about as I liked seeing his flaws and struggles even though I morally disapproved of his actions. In the 1570s timeline I felt the backstory was a little more difficult to follow. I had limited knowledge of the Ottoman-Venetian War prior to reading this book and at times I really wish I had known more as I’m sure I would have felt a little less lost. I especially found it difficult to understand the roles of the key players within the war scenario and felt that the book needed to be a little clearer as to what the function / role / motivation / personality of each of the supporting characters was. One such character was Corvino. So many tines I was unsure what was allegory and what was truly occurring when he made his on page appearances. However, I really did enjoy the love story between Chiara and Gio. I’m not sure how historically accurate it would have been to have had a courtesan be as educated as Chiara was but it worked in this book. I really liked how she seemed to be so sure of herself, was really witty and smart, and certainly wasn’t a shrinking violet. In many ways Chiara was the type of woman that present timeline Rose was trying to become. And Gio... loved him! I liked how he had this almost innocent quality to him. He gave his heart so openly and freely to Chiara and it just gave me all the warm feels. Overall this was a good book that I would happily recommend to people more interested in love stories rather than historical fiction and adventure. 3.5 stars *An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* Publishing 11th June 2020, Trapeze For more reviews and book related chat check out my blog Follow me on Twitter Friend me on Goodreads

  2. 4 out of 5

    Celia

    Two time frames, linked together by one ancient book; a book that needs to be restored. Present day, New Haven Ct. William Lomazzo, while going through his deceased grandmother's belongings, finds a book written by Giovanni Lomazzo. He takes it to Rose Newlin, a book store owner and book restorer. She begins to restore it and obtains translation. As a result of this restoration and its review, William and Rose are attracted to each other. Rose is single, but William is married... ah, an unfortuna Two time frames, linked together by one ancient book; a book that needs to be restored. Present day, New Haven Ct. William Lomazzo, while going through his deceased grandmother's belongings, finds a book written by Giovanni Lomazzo. He takes it to Rose Newlin, a book store owner and book restorer. She begins to restore it and obtains translation. As a result of this restoration and its review, William and Rose are attracted to each other. Rose is single, but William is married... ah, an unfortunate complication. Late 16th Century, Venice, Italy. Giovanni Lomazzo, a real person who existed, is commissioned by Sebastiano Venier (also a real person) to do a portrait of Chiara, Venier's courtesan. The artist and the courtesan fall in love and must keep their liaison as secret as possible. The dual timeline is educational and entertaining. Present day CT bookstore vs Venice of the 1570's. Real people are named with real events. Battle of Leponto is at least one of the real events. The battle was engaged to free a colony of Venetians on Cyprus from the Turks. The book is slow reading for me because I keep stopping to look things up on Wikipedia. The author provides a Note from the Author when the book is complete. It is a beautifully written note and explains very clearing the author's motivations in writing this book. It also makes some sense of what is historically happening in 1571 and also why she picked an Ivy League college city (Yale is the college) in which to locate the present day story. The product of my research revealed the following: Venier was married to a woman named Cecilia. His marriage is never mentioned in Deroux' book. But Deroux did cleverly include Cecilia as the maid servant of Chiara. I did have a problem with some of Deroux' similes. She just seemed to be trying too hard to impress. I did like the book and treasure what I have learned both about book restoration and the Venice of 1571. 4 stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    Present day Connecticut. Rose, a book restorer, is approached by a struggling painter William Lomazzo to restore a book about art by Giovanni Lomazzo. Renaissance Venice. Giovanni Lomazzo is commissioned by Sebastiano Venier to paint his courtesan Chiara. Venier, a statesman, hopes to be appointed admiral if Venice is forced to go to war with the Ottoman Empire. The win over Ottomans would give him the doge’s seat, which he is hoping for. Meanwhile, the Ottomans are approaching the island of Cypru Present day Connecticut. Rose, a book restorer, is approached by a struggling painter William Lomazzo to restore a book about art by Giovanni Lomazzo. Renaissance Venice. Giovanni Lomazzo is commissioned by Sebastiano Venier to paint his courtesan Chiara. Venier, a statesman, hopes to be appointed admiral if Venice is forced to go to war with the Ottoman Empire. The win over Ottomans would give him the doge’s seat, which he is hoping for. Meanwhile, the Ottomans are approaching the island of Cyprus. Taking over Cyprus would give them a good position and help them to take over Venice. The first 25% of the story is very engrossing, introducing characters and historical background of powerful Venice vs Ottomans. But then the story mostly evolves between two romantic relationships, set in dual timelines. If you like reading romances, then this might be an interesting read for you. But I was looking forward to more of historical background of powerful Venice vs Ottomans, both sides fought for control of trading routs over Mediterranean Sea for centuries. There was also another aspect, which I enjoyed and maybe would not draw attention to others. For a moment it touched upon the subject of some women being able to read in the 16th century, which back then was very rare. It is a fact that Venetian courtesans of the time were the most educated women. They were the only women allowed in the libraries, thus giving them access to all the books. I’d rather see this story as parallel with the modern day story, rather than romance. Source: ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lilisa

    This is an intriguing and immersive historical fiction straddling two timelines - current day in New Haven, Connecticut and 1571 in Venice, Italy. Rose Newlin owner of a bookstore, she’s also a book restorer. In walks William Lomazzo, an artist, who brings with him an old document found at the bottom of his great-grandmother‘s trunk. The document turns out to be a palimpsest dated Venezia 1571. Back in the late Renaissance, Venice is bracing itself for the onslaught of the advancing Ottoman army This is an intriguing and immersive historical fiction straddling two timelines - current day in New Haven, Connecticut and 1571 in Venice, Italy. Rose Newlin owner of a bookstore, she’s also a book restorer. In walks William Lomazzo, an artist, who brings with him an old document found at the bottom of his great-grandmother‘s trunk. The document turns out to be a palimpsest dated Venezia 1571. Back in the late Renaissance, Venice is bracing itself for the onslaught of the advancing Ottoman army. Giovanni Lamazzo, a well-known brilliant artist of the day, has been commissioned to paint Chiara, a favorite courtesan, of powerful military commander Sebastiano Vernier. But love cannot be put in a box and Giovanni and Chiara find themselves in dangerous waters as Venice simmers with intensity and desperation as the Ottoman army advances imminently closer. Back to present day, the Rose-William connection threatens to take shape...but clearly plays second fiddle to the first, for all the right reasons. This was a very enjoyable read that kept me immersed and engrossed in the storyline, particularly the sixteenth century one. Intrigue, a bit of mystery, history, culture, and a bit of romance all swirled together for a nice interlude. I’d definitely recommend it. This was a perfect book to distract one from the realities of everyday life - current day COVID-19! Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Diane Standish

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Publish date June 20, 2020 Thank you #netgalley and #ballantinebooks for the opportunity to read and review this delightful book. This story unfolds in the present time and in 1571 Venice. Rose is a book restorer who has been engaged by William (an artist) to restore a tome found in his grandmother's belongings. As she begins to restore the fragile vellum, she finds it's a palimpsest. At the same time she finds herself drawn to William each time he visits. The story also unfolds in Venice wh ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Publish date June 20, 2020 Thank you #netgalley and #ballantinebooks for the opportunity to read and review this delightful book. This story unfolds in the present time and in 1571 Venice. Rose is a book restorer who has been engaged by William (an artist) to restore a tome found in his grandmother's belongings. As she begins to restore the fragile vellum, she finds it's a palimpsest. At the same time she finds herself drawn to William each time he visits. The story also unfolds in Venice where Gio, an artist (and William's ancestor), is engaged to create a painting for a wealthy patron's courtesan, Chiara, whose beauty immediately captures his heart and imagination. The author does a fine job weaving each story together as the book progresses. I felt as if I were in Venice and in Rose's restoration room. I loved the authors use of language to create the atmosphere of each chapter. I highly recommend this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    The Lost Diary of Venice Mrgaux DeRoux The Lost Diary of Venice is a seamless story - one in present day Connecticut and the other 5 centuries prior during the Renaissance period in Venice. This skillfully weaved tale of forbidden love between Rose and William, and Giovanni and Chiarra. The story is very well researched and I enjoyed the historical revelation of the historical art piece. Really enjoyed this immersive read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Reviewed for Wit and Sin Rose Newlin is a book restorer in a small college town whose life has been in stasis after the death of her father. But when William Lomazzo, an artist who Rose is instantly attracted to, brings in a sixteenth century palimpsest for restoration Rose finds her spark again. The treatise on art that’s the primary text is fascinating in its own right, but it’s the sketches and writings that had been scraped away underneath that truly capture William and Rose’s attention. Reviewed for Wit and Sin Rose Newlin is a book restorer in a small college town whose life has been in stasis after the death of her father. But when William Lomazzo, an artist who Rose is instantly attracted to, brings in a sixteenth century palimpsest for restoration Rose finds her spark again. The treatise on art that’s the primary text is fascinating in its own right, but it’s the sketches and writings that had been scraped away underneath that truly capture William and Rose’s attention. As Rose works on the book, she and William are drawn to one another. But William is married and struggling with his troubled marriage. Past and present start to bleed together as they uncover a tale of forbidden love… In the sixteenth century, Giovanni Lomazzo has already lost his wife and son. Now he’s losing his sight and despair is taking hold of him. He’s been tasked with one last commission: a portrait of a courtesan who takes his breath away. There’s more to Chiara than meets the eye and as she and Gio are drawn toward each other, the threat of what happens if they are discovered becomes more and more of a possibility… The Lost Diary of Venice is a bittersweet tale. Margaux DeRoux weaves together two love stories, one set in the present and one set in a sixteenth century Venice on the cusp of war with the Ottoman empire. Ms. DeRoux brings Venice to life quite well. The gorgeous clothing and scenery we like to envision is there, but also the darker elements. Antisemitism, sexism, religious zealotry, harsh conditions, and more aren’t overlooked and are, in fact, major elements of the story. Gio is the most well-drawn of all the main characters; an artist on the cusp of losing his sight who finds love when he’s close to giving up hope. I wish his relationships with secondary characters had been better fleshed out because it would have made the world stronger and the story richer. And I desperately wish we’d had more than brief moments in Chiara’s point of view. She’s hands-down the most fascinating character in the book, lovely and intelligent, bold and secretive. She’s a mystery in many ways throughout the book and as the pieces come together I wish we got to see her inner thoughts and feelings more. It’s a case of missed opportunity, for as Chiara’s past is revealed I found I could read a whole book just about her. The love story between Chiara and Gio is one of stolen moments and it’s beautiful and sad. Perhaps if the book were solely set in the sixteenth century the characters and the background scenes involving the battle over control of Cyprus would have had more depth, making the story go from good to great. The modern-day storyline is where I struggled the most with The Lost Diary of Venice . I enjoyed the bits of the story where Rose was working on the restoration of the palimpsest and found those interesting. But the attraction between Rose and William never lived up to its potential, and not just because William was married. William and Rose’s love story is set up as a parallel of Gio and Chiara’s and it just doesn’t work. Rose and William aren’t as well drawn as their historical counterparts and their parts of the book felt flat to me. I couldn’t get emotionally invested in the modern day storyline so the book dragged in parts because of that. Still, though The Lost Diary of Venice takes a while to build steam, once it does it’s an engaging read. I had mixed feelings when I finished the book but the potential was there and I would be interested in reading more of Ms. DeRoux’s work. FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    I am in the minority here, it seems. Unfortunately, I had a very difficult time connecting to this story. I think the overall concept is great, but I struggled with the pace of the book and just could not make a connection to the characters. This was a DNF for me. I stopped and started and stopped and started several times before finally realizing this was not the book for me. I think many readers will enjoy it; it just wasn't a hit for me. That said, the cover is GORGEOUS and the overall idea is I am in the minority here, it seems. Unfortunately, I had a very difficult time connecting to this story. I think the overall concept is great, but I struggled with the pace of the book and just could not make a connection to the characters. This was a DNF for me. I stopped and started and stopped and started several times before finally realizing this was not the book for me. I think many readers will enjoy it; it just wasn't a hit for me. That said, the cover is GORGEOUS and the overall idea is intriguing. Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishers for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Andi Lutz

    A picturesque novel of two love stories in two different time periods. William meets Rose when he brings a book to her to be restored. That book forms a bond between the two and illustrates a forbidden love between a brilliant artist and his muse. The Pros: The book is well written and paints a unique picture of love between the characters. Parts of the story are historically accurate. The ending tied up the tale nicely. The Cons: The story of the war going on in the background is a little hard to foll A picturesque novel of two love stories in two different time periods. William meets Rose when he brings a book to her to be restored. That book forms a bond between the two and illustrates a forbidden love between a brilliant artist and his muse. The Pros: The book is well written and paints a unique picture of love between the characters. Parts of the story are historically accurate. The ending tied up the tale nicely. The Cons: The story of the war going on in the background is a little hard to follow. https://medium.com/@AndiLutz/1569bdfe...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    The Lost Diary of Venice by Margaux DeRoux is an excellent dual timeline historical fiction that alternates between current day Connecticut and Venice during the Renaissance period (around 500 years prior) during a time of unrest. I loved this book for several reasons: 1. I love the flowery, descriptive, and beautifully placed prose that gave me the ability to actually feel as if I was right there with the characters in both time periods. The imagery that was created for me was breathtaking. 2. I The Lost Diary of Venice by Margaux DeRoux is an excellent dual timeline historical fiction that alternates between current day Connecticut and Venice during the Renaissance period (around 500 years prior) during a time of unrest. I loved this book for several reasons: 1. I love the flowery, descriptive, and beautifully placed prose that gave me the ability to actually feel as if I was right there with the characters in both time periods. The imagery that was created for me was breathtaking. 2. I loved the unique storyline, time period, and location. Not very many books cover Venice at this time (at least that I have read). This was the initial draw for me to want to delve into this book. 3. Yes, this is a dual timeline, however despite the half century and continental difference, I found so many similarities between the two couples: their difficult circumstances, their sacrifices, the emotional roller coasters, the attraction and passion all experienced...these facts helped tie each set of characters and stories together. 4. The author’s ability to interweave two great storylines, add mystery, intrigue, and moments of unrest, romance, and tie them together for a satisfying and appropriate ending is most definitely impressive. I found that it didn’t matter if I was reading between Rose/William/Lucas or Chiari/Gio, I found that either story elicited interest, sadness, happiness, and frustration. I wanted the “bad guys” to get what was well-deserved, and I wanted at least a somewhat satisfy ending. I truly did like Rose and I wanted for her to find her place in this world. I really felt that the author did a great job creating those endings for me as the reader, and I am impressed that a story this intricate could keep me enraptured throughout. Very impressive. This is a great book that held my attention from beginning to end. 5/5 stars Thank you NetGalley and Random House/Ballantine Books for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon and B&N accounts upon publication.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Chelsie

    Rose enjoys her quiet life at the book shop, although still grieving the death of her father. A handsome man comes in from the rain with an unexpected package, he need Rose to restore it if possible? Although he wants to be kept up to date of her progress and findings. She cannot wait to dive into what appears to be a very old diary.  As she starts doing her work, she realizes it has areas that were scrapped away and that it looks like a dairy as well as a guide to painting. She can pick out word Rose enjoys her quiet life at the book shop, although still grieving the death of her father. A handsome man comes in from the rain with an unexpected package, he need Rose to restore it if possible? Although he wants to be kept up to date of her progress and findings. She cannot wait to dive into what appears to be a very old diary.  As she starts doing her work, she realizes it has areas that were scrapped away and that it looks like a dairy as well as a guide to painting. She can pick out words here and there; shadow, light and whatnot but she has to send it off for translation. She turns a page, and uncovers a portrait of a beautiful woman. Who is she? It doesn't appear as this was part of the original book, but stuck between the pages. For as much as she was trying to put off contacting William, she must now! Giovanni is a portrait artist, who has just been commission to paint a beautiful woman. During this Renaissance era, they are on the brink of war with the Ottoman Fleet and Giovanni, himself is running out of time. Can he capture this beautiful woman, in all her glory? Her personality and the secrets she holds? Will the others be able to see what he can see when he is done?  As the translations come back, piece by piece, Rose and William are astonished to learn all that was happening to Giovanni and at times it adds more questions than answers. They hold a powerful book in their hands, and cannot wait to find out the truth of everything hidden within its pages. A very well written novel! I really enjoyed how the two storylines were woven together and what the diary brought forth in the truth of the matter of things, for the characters. Thank you to Goodreads, and Ballantine Books for the arc. 

  12. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Rodríguez

    This book is uniquely intriguing in which it utilizes two timelines, one from the past and one from the present. In the present, the book narrates the story of Rose, a young woman who lives in Connecticut who dedicates her time to restore antique books. Her work has been a form of escape ever since an illness took her father. One day she meets William Lomazzo, a painter who carries with him a piece of art from the 16th century in perfect condition. Rose identifies the pages of the palimpsest and This book is uniquely intriguing in which it utilizes two timelines, one from the past and one from the present. In the present, the book narrates the story of Rose, a young woman who lives in Connecticut who dedicates her time to restore antique books. Her work has been a form of escape ever since an illness took her father. One day she meets William Lomazzo, a painter who carries with him a piece of art from the 16th century in perfect condition. Rose identifies the pages of the palimpsest and immediately starts the restoration process. The other timeline is set during the Renaissance Era in Venice, Giovanni Lomazzo is an artist who struggles to earn a living from creating art. However, a possible war against the Ottomans is looming, so the military presence has alarmed the young artist. One day he is commissioned to paint the adorable courtesan of one of the most respected commanders. Giovanni is amazed at her beauty, it is almost impossible to stop the vivid attraction he feels for her. It is interesting how the author develops the two stories since it demonstrates the complications of the two time periods. Rose's passion for discovering the contents of the palimpsest makes this a magnificent book. Rose and William exchange experiences and knowledge, which makes their friendship very enjoyable. I loved Giovanni's personality because he is an artist who does not pay attention to people's prejudices. He is very observant and loves to draw his own conclusions. It is a very well written book, I loved the classical music references, I felt completely immersed in this story that I couldn´t stop reading it until the end. Amazing book Margaux Deroux! I thank NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    It did take a little while to get into this story but then I was gripped and just had to find out what happened. The timelines are linked by the discovery of the diary. There were many detailed descriptions of the scenes, whether it was the tools Rose used for her restorative work or the sights and sounds of Venice. The tension was palpable as the build up to the sea battle was described. Some of the events were historically accurate and these were woven successfully into the story and the affec It did take a little while to get into this story but then I was gripped and just had to find out what happened. The timelines are linked by the discovery of the diary. There were many detailed descriptions of the scenes, whether it was the tools Rose used for her restorative work or the sights and sounds of Venice. The tension was palpable as the build up to the sea battle was described. Some of the events were historically accurate and these were woven successfully into the story and the affect it had on the fictional characters. Giovanni Lomazzo was the artist from the 16th century and was losing his sight. He was smitten by Chiara, the courtesan of an important man, Venier. Rose, in the present day, was working on the project for William, also an artist. They felt a special connection but William was married with children. There was so much to this story and it will be one that I will remember for a long time. I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Wagner

    *I received a copy of this book through LibraryThing Early Reviewers.* This novel weaves together two love stories, one set in the contemporary world and another set in Renaissance Venice. I actually liked the parts set in the present more, with the details about book restoration and the romantic choice Rose has to face. I found the parts set in the past, with an artist slowly going blind and an enemy fleet slowly approaching Venice, somewhat sad. I will give the author credit for showcasing the *I received a copy of this book through LibraryThing Early Reviewers.* This novel weaves together two love stories, one set in the contemporary world and another set in Renaissance Venice. I actually liked the parts set in the present more, with the details about book restoration and the romantic choice Rose has to face. I found the parts set in the past, with an artist slowly going blind and an enemy fleet slowly approaching Venice, somewhat sad. I will give the author credit for showcasing the less glamorous parts of Renaissance Italy - the creation of a Jewish Ghetto in Venice, the violence women were vulnerable to, and the constraints people lived within. Overall, a fascinating world to explore through this book and now I'm tempted to pick up a couple of artists' biographies.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    The cover is what drew me to this book. It has dual time lines and both stories kinda deal with people in impossible relationships. I found the book interesting, I felt a bit sad for Rose. Historical fiction fans will enjoy this book Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the early copy

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sybil Davis

    To me this was a page turner. I could not put it down...and I learned historical facts I had not known. It is descriptive and fast paced. I was invested in the characters, and was taken by surprise several times, and I like that. It was not predictable. Very satisfying read. I want to re-read this one. I don't usually feel that way.

  17. 5 out of 5

    CapricornReads

    Beautifully descriptive, intriguing and rememberable. A great historical romance that brings you along with the characters. A fantastic story about love that spans between time. *I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. *

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Dinorah

    The Lost Diary of Venice Being from Connecticut I can picture Rose’s book restoration shop to be in the heart of our antique valley in the neighboring towns of Southbury and Woodbury. After reading more, I picture this taking place in New Haven since the author hints at an Ivy. However, New Haven is not quaint and definitely not a book restoration town. I felt like this story had so much promise, but it just didn’t come to fruition or make sense like I wanted it to. I love dual timeline stories. The Lost Diary of Venice Being from Connecticut I can picture Rose’s book restoration shop to be in the heart of our antique valley in the neighboring towns of Southbury and Woodbury. After reading more, I picture this taking place in New Haven since the author hints at an Ivy. However, New Haven is not quaint and definitely not a book restoration town. I felt like this story had so much promise, but it just didn’t come to fruition or make sense like I wanted it to. I love dual timeline stories. However, I always feel like one is more developed than another. In this one, you have present day with Rose and William. Sometimes there’s a Sarah, Joan, or Lucas thrown in there but they’re easy to keep track of. In 1571, you have Gio, Chiara, Aurelio, Venier, Corvino, Crow. Or is Crow another name for Corvino? It was incredibly difficult to keep the past in check without writing it down. The author would describe Corvino and then say crow and then use action words to describe what Crow was doing and it was Corvino. It was just too much in a short span of time. There were so many things going on in the past and it just didn’t work for me as a reader. By the time Sarah and William finally act on their feelings it is 75% into the book, but Sarah has also flirted with Lucas and I truly felt like there was something there. There was romance, art, Italy... what more could you want? It felt like there wasn’t anything else the author could have done, but done so much more at the same time. I wish the 1571 timeline was refined and cleaned up better.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    Destined to be a bestseller This is a book that has everything this reader looks for; good strong characters, an amazing plot, and well researched back story that makes for a story that stays with you after you turn the last page. The story is told in two different time periods. The modern time takes place in the United States with Rose and William. Willam just inherited a book that is very old, and would like it restored. Rose is a highly regarded book restorer and while looking at it notices tha Destined to be a bestseller This is a book that has everything this reader looks for; good strong characters, an amazing plot, and well researched back story that makes for a story that stays with you after you turn the last page. The story is told in two different time periods. The modern time takes place in the United States with Rose and William. Willam just inherited a book that is very old, and would like it restored. Rose is a highly regarded book restorer and while looking at it notices that the book is not just one book, but two. A palimpsest. One book on top of one that had been partially scraped off. As she begins to decipher it, her contact with William increases, and she becomes drawn to him despite his being married. He, too, is drawn to her, but as a married man with children, tries to fight the draw. This part of the story was written so well, I had rollercoaster feelings about their getting together or not as I progressed through the story. I felt I was part of their relationship, and that I, too, had an agenda in how it would turn out. The second time period is about the author of the book which is to be restored. Gio lives in Venice, Italy and is an artist who is slowly going blind. He is commissioned to paint the portrait of a courtesan of a man who is destined to be a doge. Gio is entranced with her, and his art and life are forever changed by meeting her. Through this story there is woven the history of Venice at that time, and the battle of Lepanto. The details, though factionalized, are based on actual facts, as well as historical characters of the past. I was more often than not fascinated enough with some of the details to look them up, only to find that the details were so amazingly accurate. For instance, the use of fireworks in Venice at the time period was something new I learned reading this book. I highly recommend this book to any and all, and will be recommending it for my book club. And, even though I was given an advance reading copy digitally, I can honestly say I will most likely be one of the first to buy a print copy to have in my library. And, I have a few folks I think would enjoy this as a gift.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chaya Nebel

    This book just did not do it for me. The premise was promising: a modern-day couple, William and Rose, uncover a palimpsest of a Renaissance Venetian artist's diary, which focuses on a relationship between the artist and courtesan, while in the modern world, William and Rose deal with their own budding relationship. But the story was so-so and I just was not very touched either by the characters or their stories. The writing was beautiful -- poetic and vibrant. The author is clearly trying to "pa This book just did not do it for me. The premise was promising: a modern-day couple, William and Rose, uncover a palimpsest of a Renaissance Venetian artist's diary, which focuses on a relationship between the artist and courtesan, while in the modern world, William and Rose deal with their own budding relationship. But the story was so-so and I just was not very touched either by the characters or their stories. The writing was beautiful -- poetic and vibrant. The author is clearly trying to "paint" the scenery of Renaissance Italy in the reader's mind, and the brushstrokes are vivid and detailed. But I felt that the description was often overly florid and just too much, taking center stage rather than the plot, which was thin, in both time zones. They dealt with, basically, two love stories fraught with difficulties. The modern story was rife with lots of "his fingers brushed her arm sending chills up her spine" sort of moments, which wore thin on me after a while. The Renaissance story is slightly more interesting, with political intrigue, the threat of a looming war, plus a religious-zealot villain.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Walsh

    This was a wonderful read--I'm a huge fan of art history, history, especially Renaissance history. DeRoux carefully plots out the relationship between Gio and Chiarra, as well as Rose and Will, and how each relationship experiences some type of forbidden love. It is always fascinating to me how authors can carefully craft novels with two different time periods happening, and connect the two in a way that is seamless. I look forward to reading more novels by this author, and can't wait to recommend This was a wonderful read--I'm a huge fan of art history, history, especially Renaissance history. DeRoux carefully plots out the relationship between Gio and Chiarra, as well as Rose and Will, and how each relationship experiences some type of forbidden love. It is always fascinating to me how authors can carefully craft novels with two different time periods happening, and connect the two in a way that is seamless. I look forward to reading more novels by this author, and can't wait to recommend this to others!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Crystal King

    Lovers of Italian historical fiction will adore this dual timeline story, set in present-day Connecticut and Renaissance Venice, There is a bit of war and peace within the story and I did find the romances more intriguing than the details of the war, but all in all, it's beautifully written, emotionally gripping, and full of historical factoids that kept me reading till the very end.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cristie Underwood

    This is a great piece of historical fiction that jumps between Venezia in 1571 and present day New Haven, Connecticut. They are linked by a diary. This is an enjoyable read and I found myself learning a lot about that time period even though this was fiction.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Terry A.

    Thanks to #netgalley I was able to read an advance copy of this novel. It had a dreamy feel and the theme of a fairy tale was, appropriately, a major thread. The action across two times offered the contrast of an independent, modern, often lonely career woman to a renaissance courtesan of murky beginnings who yearned to develop her musical gifts despite the handicap of her gender in this era. There were many words and descriptions, but little action or emotion that caught at my heart. I enjoy re Thanks to #netgalley I was able to read an advance copy of this novel. It had a dreamy feel and the theme of a fairy tale was, appropriately, a major thread. The action across two times offered the contrast of an independent, modern, often lonely career woman to a renaissance courtesan of murky beginnings who yearned to develop her musical gifts despite the handicap of her gender in this era. There were many words and descriptions, but little action or emotion that caught at my heart. I enjoy reading stories set in Venice so that was some reward for my persistence in finishing the story. Not my cup of tea, I rounded up from 2.5 stars.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    This book had everything I thought I wanted: a rare book restorer, a secret text, flashbacks to Renaissance era Venice, multiple romances. Unfortunately, it fell flat for me. I couldn't connect with the characters, and found most of their behavior to be wildly dramatic and overly emotional. Rose is book shop owner and rare book restorer and embarks on a project with William, who finds a secret diary in his grandmother's attic. The diary is more of a treatise on Renaissance art in Venice and is w This book had everything I thought I wanted: a rare book restorer, a secret text, flashbacks to Renaissance era Venice, multiple romances. Unfortunately, it fell flat for me. I couldn't connect with the characters, and found most of their behavior to be wildly dramatic and overly emotional. Rose is book shop owner and rare book restorer and embarks on a project with William, who finds a secret diary in his grandmother's attic. The diary is more of a treatise on Renaissance art in Venice and is written by Giovanni Lomazzo, whose story we see in alternating chapters. The writing is very lush and descriptive, which I enjoyed. Venice is one of my favorite cities and is full of macabre beauty which I feel the author captured. However, the descriptions of art often distracted from moving the story forward. There were many characters and subplots that I found to be a bit unnecessary, or came too late in the story to make an impact. The author's portrayal of anti-semitism in Venice was very interesting, but I felt it didn't start to gain traction until the last third of the novel. I would have liked this to be explored more. My main gripe is how inappropriate Rose and William's relationship was. We're told his wife previously had an affair, I guess to make their behavior "okay" in the reader's mind? I did not feel that way. Both Rose/William and Giovanni/Chiara had "instant love" that can work in a romance novel, but didn't work (for me) in a more plot-based fiction piece. While the setting and the story had potential, it gets muddled with overly descriptive passages and unrealistic relationships. Thank you to Ballantine Books and Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Liz Dodd

    A rare depiction of an independent female protagonist. Rose lives and copes with contemporary obstacles in highly plausible, inwardly driven ways. She’s stands in perfect contrast to her oppressed but rebellious historical counterpoint. I lost myself in both of DeRoux’s settings. A very cool first novel.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Tried it, but this does not interest me. I thought it would because of the handling of ancient manuscript, but this is a timeline romance, emphasis on romance. Connecticut current day vs Venice 16th Century. I may have to go back to guttenberg to find something I will enjoy reading. My library attempts lately have been duds. Library Loan

  28. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    This is a captivating tale of two love stories- one set in the present day and the other in late Renaissance Venice. They are tied together by a newly discovered artistic manuscript, and the author seamlessly weaves her way between both stories, drawing the reader in easily to each. The writing is vivid and entertaining, with descriptions that amuse and enthrall. I found myself thoroughly ensconced in both stories and flying through the chapters so I could get back to what was happening with eit This is a captivating tale of two love stories- one set in the present day and the other in late Renaissance Venice. They are tied together by a newly discovered artistic manuscript, and the author seamlessly weaves her way between both stories, drawing the reader in easily to each. The writing is vivid and entertaining, with descriptions that amuse and enthrall. I found myself thoroughly ensconced in both stories and flying through the chapters so I could get back to what was happening with either Rose or Gio. I highly recommend this novel- the story is fresh and the writing effortless... a unique, lovely story.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Daphne Manning

    In the lost diary of Venice you get a big dose of the history of Venice,it’s societal structure. You get a healthy dose of the life of historical restorers and their singular lives. You get a bit of modern romance in the form of a marriage a little aged but resolved to renew in various stages of personal discovery. Clear in this novel are characters true to their time . Unapologetic of their station in life and succeeding in the only way they can. The artist Giovanni commissioned to put the fair In the lost diary of Venice you get a big dose of the history of Venice,it’s societal structure. You get a healthy dose of the life of historical restorers and their singular lives. You get a bit of modern romance in the form of a marriage a little aged but resolved to renew in various stages of personal discovery. Clear in this novel are characters true to their time . Unapologetic of their station in life and succeeding in the only way they can. The artist Giovanni commissioned to put the fair Chaira on display for her patron, a plaything to be immortalized on canvas,but Chaira is neither a plaything or a pawn as the conniving Corvino learns in bold fashion. The characters are ambitious and cunning and intrigue is everywhere. The story shifts between today and then, a time when Venice was almost beset upon by the Ottoman Empire. Rose the restorer has a small book shop and accepts commissions on the side. A vellum piece leads to what turns out to be the last chronicle of the artist last year of sight . It is touching and heartfelt and complete with detail of the fear that prevailed . It has characters you will side with and race to find their outcome. You will not be disappointed, I even admired the resolution of the Rose intrigue with the William/Giovanni look alike storyline. Happy reading

  30. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I was not found of the writing style. How many times could we be told that two people fit together perfectly? I felt there were many trite phrases and situations and everything was predictable and tedious to get through.

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