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The Venetian House - Mary Nickson

The Venetian House

Review by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THINK romance and chances are Mills and Boon will immediately spring to mind. However, genre apart, The Venetian House by Mary Nickson has nothing whatsoever in common with the popular novelettes.

Yet The Venetian House is undeniably a love story – two love stories, in fact, linked by the eponymous house which is not, as you might expect, in Italy but on the Greek island of Corfu.

And it’s through Evanthi who, as a young girl, loved and lost the charismatic Hugh Marston, and her granddaughter Victoria who comes close to letting history repeat itself, that the story unfolds.

The Venetian House is beautifully written and with simplistic elegance captures the very essence of a Mediterranean isle. Yet Nickson’s Corfu is one visitors seldom see – unspoilt, still essentially Greek and in all its seasonal variations.

Tha Venetian House also tackles two quite different but equally difficult subjects – bereavement and divorce – and both are handled with remarkable insight and great sensitivity.

Take divorce – Nickson not only presents it from an adult perspective but from a young person’s viewpoint as well. As for bereavement, her sentiments (expressed so poignantly by Victoria) will surely strike a note with us all.

Moreover, Nickson goes one step further with a thought-provoking question: How well do we really know another person – even someone we’ve known virtually all our lives?

On the negative side, however, The Venetian House is, to a certain extent, predictable and it does rely heavily on coincidence. But don’t let this deter you. It is, when all said and done, an exceptionally good read.