19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: The Jewels of Paradise (Hardcover)
I've read and hugely enjoyed all Donna Leon's Brunetti series but this is so entirely different, both in terms of it's chief protagonist and its writing, that I've found it very disappointing. It's very slow in pace and while one becomes engaged with Brunetti, his family, his job, his Venice, I found it almost impossible to have such feelings of reality for Caterina. Only when she is exchanging emails with her sister does she seem to me to be a fully fleshed out creation. That in itself made me wonder if Ms Leon writes or has written emails in that style to her own family members. There's something stilted about the book. I can't warm to Caterina and for large parts of it I felt as if I wanted to tell her to just get on with it and stop telling us about what she is going to eat or think, or write. There's far too much detail about a scholarly approach to the handling of ancient documents, musical history, long-dead composers, approaches to playing music etc. and it slows the book down to the point where at times, it's almost a text book, rather than a novel. For me, I hope Brunetti is back next year!