The Rossetti Letter

Sunday, January 10, 2010

When a venetian courtesan named Alessandra Rosetti wrote a letter that exposed the Spanish conspiracy, Venice was saved. But not without a price. Hundred years later, an American graduate named Claire Donovan, digs deeper into this rich part of Venice’s history for her dissertation.

Famous Cambridge University Professor, Andrew Kent, believes Claire Donovan’s theory and reasonings are false. If his efforts in this research are proven, Claire’s dissertation will mean nothing at all.Together, despite their obvious quarrel, they try to unlock the mystery there is of the Rossetti Letter.

The author alternates these two stories in different chapters, intertwining the two of them for the reader’s benefit. This style seems to draw in suspense and excitement. I personally enjoyed reading it that way; it made me want to keep going, knowing that somewhere in these chapters, I would see these two stories come together.

A mix of historical fiction and contemporary romantic mystery, it draws the readers in simply because the story is fascinating. I found the characters of Claire Donovan and Andrew Kent very likable. But I have to say my favorite would be Alessandra Rosetti herself and, shown later on in the book, Antonio. I also enjoyed her writing very much, as I thought it was smart and thorougly researched. And though there were plotholes and subplots that I did not care for as much, the whole debut novel still worked.

If you like history, drama, mystery, and suspense, this might just work out very well for you. If you do not like being left with an ambigious ending, don’t read it. The ending, to me, was good enough. ::SLIGHT SPOILER:: But if I could end it, of course, I would at least let Andrew Kent hear her “thank you.” The most was that I would actually let them end up together. I also would not put his Italian girlfriend in the story, because she basically had no role and was completely useless.

Overall a good book; enjoyable, worthwhile. I really just have to say though, that the over-the-top descriptions in the “adult” scenes are inappropriate. They didn’t need to be there. Edit, edit, edit!

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