Thursday, August 31, 2017

Casanova's Secret Wife by Barbara Lynn-Davis

“Full of passion and rich historical detail . . . an enthralling read, impossible to put down.” —Phyllis T. Smith, bestselling author of I Am Livia and The Daughters of Palatine Hill

“This is Venice beneath the mask: A dark and fascinating love story hiding in the shadows of the golden city.” —Marina Fiorato, bestselling author of The Glassblower of Murano

Set in eighteenth-century Venice and based on an actual account by Giacomo Casanova—here is a lush tale of desire and risk, offering a little known portrait of the writer as a young man.

Caterina Capreta was an innocent girl of fourteen when she caught the attention of the world’s most infamous chronicler of seduction: Giacomo Casanova. Intoxicated by a fierce love, she wed Casanova in secret. But his shocking betrayal inspired her to commit an act that would mark her forever . . .

Now twenty years later on the island of Murano, the woman in possession of Caterina’s most devastating secret has appeared with a request she cannot refuse: to take in a noble-born girl whose scandalous love affair resembles her own. But the girl’s presence stirs up unwelcome memories of Caterina’s turbulent past. Tested like never before, she reveals the story of the man she will never forget . . .

Bringing to life a fascinating chapter in the history of Venice, Casanova’s Secret Wife is a tour de force that charts one woman’s journey through love and loss to redemption.

“Seductive and unforgettable” —Harmony Verna, author of Daughter of Australia

“Breathtaking, beautiful . . . will mesmerize readers." —Rosanna Chiofalo, author of Stella Mia


It is a little known secret that my favourite genre is Italian historical fiction. And this novel certainly did not disappoint. I was interested in seeing how a rake and con like Casanova would be portrayed and whether the author would make him a rogue or sympathetic. I was pleased that the author showed us his charm and likeability. Of course there were moments when I worried that he would turn sour on his relationship with Caterina, and although he did drift, he did his best to remain supportive and kind to her. 

Of course the novel was set in Venice and it the author created an excellent depiction of the time. locations, and social norms of the time. She brought to life the decadence, secrets, and rich way of life.

This story pleased me on many, many counts - its historical detail, the historical personages, and of course the beauty of La Serenissima! This was a great read and I highly recommend it!