A most beautiful and engaging novel about Baroque musician Alessandro Stradella. Mixing fact with fictional elements we get to witness this colourful and fascinating subject in his professional and private life.
The flow of the writing is smooth and pulled me in from the first chapter – something that few historical novels master. The prose is wonderful and the pace just perfect.
There is a great story to tell about this man and the music world of the 17th Century. I was amazed at how much I enjoyed this novel, being not that familiar with the Italian Baroque ‘scene’. The author has done immaculate research and fills the pages with great details without overloading it.
Donatella, the other main character of the book, is equally well drawn and interesting. This is a real pleasure to read, all the more when you read the notes about the man and the author at the end of the book.
A real find that I would like to recommend highly to other readers of historical fiction.
As far as A House Near Luccoli, it was quite by chance, on the way to work one morning while listening to Canadian radio’s CBC 2, that I became aware of the 17th century composer Alessandro Stradella: his triumphant and tragic story and for the first time, at least knowingly, his magnificent music. Stradella’s talent for creating misadventures as well as masterpieces got me thinking about the paradox of such genius. I knew I would have to find a way into his story to explore the contradictions of someone with great talent who achieves much only to sabotage his success. By the novel’s end, the fictional Anglo-Italian Donatella, on her way from Genoa to England, is clearly not leaving her relationship with Stradella behind. So To A Strange Somewhere Fled was born, in part out of my experience of living and working in the Abbey and village of Wroxton, England for sixteen years and the opportunity “to return” and explore its history further; and, also, my affinity with the journey of a woman whose heart has been awoken and then broken, and who has to keep the whys and wherefores secret.
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To A Strange Somewhere Fled