The heir to a gondola empire rejects his birthright but comes full circle in this fascinating glimpse into late-Renaissance Venice by art-historian-turned-novelist Morelli (Made in Italy). ----Kirkus Indie Book of the Month
The Gondola Maker is historical fiction at its best. ----Midwest Book Review
Award-winning historical fiction set in 16th-century Venice
From the author of Made in Italy comes a tale of artisanal tradition and family bonds set in one of the world's most magnificent settings: Renaissance Venice.
Venetian gondola-maker Luca Vianello considers his whole life arranged. His father charted a course for his eldest son from the day he was born, and Luca is positioned to inherit one of the city's most esteemed boatyards. But when Luca experiences an unexpected tragedy in the boatyard, he believes that his destiny lies elsewhere. Soon he finds himself drawn to restore an antique gondola with the dream of taking a girl for a ride.
The Gondola Maker brings the centuries-old art of gondola-making to life in the tale of a young man's complicated relationship with his master-craftsman father. Lovers of historical fiction will appreciate the authentic details of gondola craftsmanship, along with an intimate first-person narrative set against the richly textured backdrop of 16th-century Venice.
A Venetian page-turner
"I'm a big fan of Venice, so I appreciate Laura Morelli's special knowledge of the city, the period, and the process of gondola-making. An especially compelling story." --Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun
"Laura Morelli has done her research, or perhaps she was an Italian carpenter in another life. One can literally smell and feel the grain of finely turned wood in her hands." --Pamela Sheldon Johns, author of Italian Food Artisans
"Romance, intrigue, family loyalty, pride, and redemption set against the backdrop of Renaissance Italy." --Library of Clean Reads
"Beautiful, powerful evocation of the characters, the place, and the time. An elegant and thoroughly engaging narrative voice." --Mark Spencer, author of Fiction Club: A Concise Guide to Writing Good Fiction