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.
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The Marriage of the Sea
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Begin readingMax landed in New Orleans like a sprinter. His cab barreled over the toxic empty highway into town, the battered streets and battered sidewalks and battered, crooked houses. He'd chosen the most romantic hotel, just beyond the Garden District, lopsided and seedy. Once he'd checked in he ran up the staircase, noting with delight the stained glass promise in the window: Let my beloved come into his garden and eat his pleasant fruits! Then he had barely put down his bag, barely phoned Sea & Air to provide a temporary number (should his fur teacup and cookbooks