By the Grand Canal

By William Rivière
Read by Simon Vance

6.42 Hours 07/01/2005 unabridged
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In the aftermath of the First World War, Hugh Thurne, a British diplomat involved in the peace negotiations, seeks solace in his rented palazzo in Venice rather than returning to his wife and the charade of his marriage in London. Although profoundly disturbed by the grim long-term prospects for peace, he has faith in the city’s power to raise his spirits. Hugh eagerly looks forward to visits with his old friends Giocomo and Valentina Venier in their dilapidated palazzo by the Grand Canal, renewing his affair with a young opera singer Emanuela, and the arrival of Violet Mancroft, the widow of his best friend lost in the war. What he does not anticipate is the shadow lying over the Venier family’s future—nor has he reckoned with the vagaries of his own heart.

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Summary

Summary

In the aftermath of the First World War, Hugh Thurne, a British diplomat involved in the peace negotiations, seeks solace in his rented palazzo in Venice rather than returning to his wife and the charade of his marriage in London. Although profoundly disturbed by the grim long-term prospects for peace, he has faith in the city’s power to raise his spirits. Hugh eagerly looks forward to visits with his old friends Giocomo and Valentina Venier in their dilapidated palazzo by the Grand Canal, renewing his affair with a young opera singer Emanuela, and the arrival of Violet Mancroft, the widow of his best friend lost in the war. What he does not anticipate is the shadow lying over the Venier family’s future—nor has he reckoned with the vagaries of his own heart.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“[Rivière] probes every nook of his characters’ being…His creations are fragile objects but a delight to observe.” Times Literary Supplement
“[A] cast of well-imagined characters at crossroads in their lives…Wonderfully lyrical passages, capturing a great city and all its subtle charms.” Daily Telegraph
“[Rivière] is a specialist in haunting seascapes, creating a subtle and gripping story.” Evening Standard (London)
“[A] lovely rhapsody of Venice and a stirring philosophical examination of war and its aftermath.” Publishers Weekly
“Vance’s voice is charming, and he enunciates each word in a precise, clipped British accent. His performance, like the text, is all about ambience…Suggested for audiophiles who relish moody historical fiction.”  Booklist

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: William Rivière

William Rivière was born in 1954. After graduating from Cambridge, he spent several years in Venice and now teaches at the University Urbino in Italy. He was recently made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, Library CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction
Runtime: 6.42
Audience: Adult
Language: English