A House Near Luccoli: A Novel of Musical Intimacy & Intrigue in 17th Century Genoa by DM Denton (All Things That Matter Press, 2012)
I have a deep appreciation for things that appeal to my sense of beauty. While I enjoy many novels for a multitude of varying reasons, from their excellent characterisation to their capacity to make me see the world in new ways, teach me new things or simply engage my rapt attention, there are only a few that have captured me with their lyricism and beauty. The historic novel ‘A House Near Luccoli’ by DM Denton flows with a rhythm and melody that took me some time to adjust to – her sophisticated style took a little time to attune to, and I initially found myself re-reading paragraphs to ensure I was completely clear on what was happening. However, once I let go of my structured expectations and instead listened to the unique flow of the novel, I found myself captivated, and transported back to 17th century Italy.
It’s such a unique and poetic style, that I feel as though I can hardly do it justice, and wish instead to share a couple of extracts:
“…Nonna blamed a tendency to malinconia on her granddaughter’s English side with too much rain in her blood. As if climate could be inherited – shifting skies of cloud and sun, never warmer than it was still cool in the shade, hay growing and ripening despite wet feet, root vegetables the staple, walls and hedges rolling along landscapes far from the sea.”
“The azalea flower was suggestive of the new lodger, with a passion for color itself, spraying out from its dramatic center like a cat’s whiskers for effect and purpose, rising stealthily through the shade to reach for the wind as much as the sun.”
Through years of following her wonderful blog, I have been fortunate enough to get to know Diane as a creative artist and poet. It was an entirely new joy to get to know her as a highly skilled historical novelist, and I am looking forward with great anticipation to meeting her nuanced and captivating protagonist, Donatella, once again in the upcoming sequel, ‘To A Strange Somewhere Fled.’