A New York Times Notable Book
In a damp Venetian palace, Oswaldo contemplates the ravages of time to his body and his beloved city, and dreams up a way to hold mortality at bay. In New York, Lach steps out into the crisp, clear night to savor his freedom, having just dropped Vera to join his new love, Francesca, in Venice. In rainy London, Max packs for a precipitous move to New Orleans, in pursuit of Lucinde, a woman he barely knows. In New Orleans, Lucinde plans to fly to the aid and comfort of Vera, who, betrayal or no, has accepted a grant to go paint in . . . Venice. And elsewhere in the Crescent City, Anton, sleepless before he leaves to seek his big break in—where else?—Venice, sketches a good-bye upon the slumbering body of his wife, Josephine.
With wit, sympathy, and surpassing deftness, Jane Alison choreographs an intricate quadrille among these characters, drawn by love and loneliness, aspiration and desperation, to two famously romantic, venal, and elusive cities of water.