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A House Near Luccoli Paperback – 27 Aug 2012
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About the Author
I am a native of Buffalo, New York. My writing life began as a child retreating into the stories and poems that came to me, always believing that writing was the love I would keep and that would keep me. Early on I developed an interest in history, especially European history, while my participation in and appreciation of music was encouraged through memories shared about my maternal grandmother, who was a concert pianist in Chicago in the 1920’s. My early pursuits also included drawing and painting—and acting, which I eventually gave up, admitting that my inclination for drama was better written than acted out, my imagination more consistent than my courage. My educational journey took me from Theater Arts and Communication at SUNY Brockport, to a History and Literature major at Daemen College (formerly Rosary Hill College) in Amherst, NY; culminating in a dream-fulfilling semester at Wroxton College, England (run by Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey), not far from Stratford Upon Avon, Warwick, Woodstock, Oxford, as well as the picturesque Cotswolds. Not least because of a fateful encounter, I impetuously stayed in Wroxton for sixteen years—a yellow-stoned village with thatched cottages, a duck pond, and twelfth century church and abbey turned Jacobean manor house. I lived, for better or worse, right off the pages of Fielding, the Brontes, Austin, Hardy, DH Lawrence, and even Dickens, surrounded by the beautiful hills, woods and fields of the Oxfordshire countryside, and all kinds of colorful characters. This truly turned out to be a life-changing experience that resonates in my personal and professional endeavors to this day. I returned to the US in 1990, to a rural area of Western New York State where I still reside in a cozy log cabin with my beloved mother and cats. I have been employed in a variety of “day jobs” from retail to media consulting, as a volunteer coordinator for Western New York Public Broadcasting, and presently with a career transitioning company in Williamsville, NY. In addition to writing, music, and art, I am passionate about nurturing nature and a consciousness for a more compassionate, inclusive, and peaceful world. Please visit my website, where you can contact me: http://dmdenton-author-artist.com, and blog featuring my poetry and artwork: http://bardessdmdenton.wordpress.com/
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The story is set in Genoa, Italy in the 17th century,where we are introduced to the lesser known Italian composer, Alessandro Stradella, whom we learn is also a rather loveable rogue. The almost love affair between Stradella and the young woman Donatella, who resides in the house where he rents a room, keeps us wishing and hoping all the way through.
Not only is the fictional story a page turner, but the book takes us on a cultural journey too, as we are given a glimpse into real life in Genoa where Alessandro Stradella, the composer, was born.
This is a very readable book for those already familiar with historical novels or for the novice; it transports us firmly into the midst of every scene and leaves the reader very hungry for more of Diane's excellent work.
In turns moving and exhilarating, sad and joyous, the author moves dexterously from scene to scene: from exquisitely rendered intimate and searching conversations between Stradella and Donatella to the pace and excitement of the final scenes at the Carnevale, leading to a dénouement that is both an ending and a beginning. The novel has no longueurs or loss of pace; its skilfully constructed momentum makes for a compelling read.
Accurately rendered historical details (the novelist's light touch belies the in-depth research that she must have undertaken) and convincing characterisation and plot development lie at the heart of this fascinating and rewarding novel. And as with any skilled writer and artist, the author provides insights not only into a long-neglected musician and the specific time in which he lived, but also addresses questions that are as relevant today: what it is to be gifted and what it is to be ordinary, and the hopes, disappointments, griefs, yearnings and joys that are the markers of what it is to be human.
This novel would make a great film! I hope the author receives the recognition she deserves for this impressive achievement and I sincerely hope she continues to write.
Author DM Denton writes with verve and great style. In Alessandro and Donatella she has recreated the romance between them with vivid believability. The 17th century is a period of extremes - lavish wealth and devastating poverty, lofty heights and dire circumstances. As the story unfolds and more of each character is revealed, I got a strong sense of the times, its foods, clothing, music, and art. Alessandro is a lovable rogue, a bad boy who never seems to learn from his mistakes. Ultimately, it all catches up to him in a tragic ending.
I always enjoy novels of unique historical settings with lesser known heros and heroines of the times. This is one such novel. Very well put together and researched. Highly recommended.
A House near Luccoli. I couldn't have imagined how romantic and poetic the story would be. I know Diane is a brilliant artist and poet, because I follow her blog and website. So reading the story, you feel as if you're there, in 17th Century Genoa. It's a love story between Donatella who is in her mid-thirties and unmarried, she lives with her aunt and gran, who is called nonna. Nonna is bed ridden, but she still instigates for Donatella to become Allesandro Stradella's copyist. This gives her chance to get close to him. She's not the only one to fall in love with the musician, he seems to have all the ladies under his spell, even Gran, and a Princess.
Diane sets the scene with the winding alleyways, and carriages, boats in the harbour and a Carnival. You would need to love all things Italian, Classical music and romance to enjoy this book. I'm new to Classical music, but it's hypnotic, just like Diane's book. She says that her mother has read the book three times. I'll be reading it again, as the rhythm of it is beautiful.