Elena Spira, after a scandal, has been banished to Venice to nurse Samuel Farber, who has been injured. She arrives in Venice in 1884 to find the palazzo is derelict, covered in mold, mildew, soot, windowed boarded and on the inside total disrepair, ruin everywhere. I could see the ruin and feel Ms Spira’s despair from the author, Megan Chance, descriptions. Megan Chance did a wonderful job setting the scene for the meeting between Samuel Farber and Elena. Samuel used laudanum liberally for the pain of his injuries. Elena immediately takes the situation in hand.
Elena feels that she is being watched and she hears voices. Megan Chance set the stage for this book to be a mysterious ghost story very well; the mysterious voices, feelings of being watched, drafts without reason, weighted sadness, the bedroom Samuel occupies holds women’s furniture and clothing, the ruin of the palazzo, the strange occupants of the palazzo, the mysterious angel Samuel sees and sings to, and he is an epileptic as well as being injured from a beating. Another character is added when Nerone Basilio, Samuel’s friend and owner of the palazzo, shows up in Venice. All is not as it seems!
This all set the stage for a dark mystery, as individuals with epilepsy were considered mad and the truth of their condition was hidden at this point in history. Elena has her own secrets that affected not only her life but also that of her parents; Elena finds love in Venice. Nerone arrives with his own set of secrets; why does his aunt who lives at the palazzo hate him so and what really happened to her daughter, Nerone’s fiancée. All this makes for a tension filled book full of secrets and mysteries that will keep the reader‘s interest throughout the book.
Megan Chance never allowed the pace to lag as she kept my interest to the end. I couldn’t wait to see what was really going on in the palazzo and all the characters lives intertwined in the book. I found this book very enjoyable.
I received this book from the publisher and Netgalley in return for an honest book review.