Over three years since the charismatic composer, violinist, and singer Alessandro Stradella sought refuge in the palaces and twisted alleys of Genoa, royally welcomed despite the alleged scandals and even crimes that forced him to flee from Rome, Venice, and Turin, his professional and personal life have begun to unravel again. He is offered, by the very man he is rumored to have wronged, a respectable if slightly shabby apartment and yet another chance to redeem his character and career. He moves in to the curiosity and consternation of his caretakers, also tenants, three women whose reputations are of concern only to themselves. Donatella, still unmarried in her mid-thirties, is plainly irrelevant. Yet, like the city she lives in, there are hidden longings in her, propriety the rule, not cure, for what ails her. She cares more for her bedridden grandmother and cats than overbearing aunt, keeping house and tending to a small terraced garden, painting flowers and waxing poetic in her journal. At first, she is in awe of and certain she will have little to do with Stradella. Slowly, his ego, playfulness, need of a copyist and camouflage involve her in an inspired and insidious world, exciting and heartbreaking as she is enlarged by his magnanimity and reduced by his missteps, forging a friendship that challenges how far she will go.
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.co