Oh the emotions this book evokes! Anger! Joy! Outrage! Elation! This is a story about the power men had over women long ago and unfortunately even still today. But it’s also about the power of women—how we can take control and make change in our lives. Set in Venice—the sinking city of Italy—I was right there with Charlotte while she sought to find the truth about more than one secret, both past and present. Recomended for ages 16 and up because of language and content.
Four starred reviews!
A “quietly triumphant” (Horn Book Magazine) and atmospheric YA story of romance, mystery, and power about a young woman discovering her strength in lush, sultry Venice—from the Printz Honor–winning author of A Heart in a Body in the World.
When Charlotte wins a scholarship to a writing workshop in Venice with the charismatic and brilliant Luca Bruni, it’s a dream come true. Writing is her passion, she loves Bruni’s books, and going to that romantic and magical sinking city gives her the chance to solve a long-time family mystery about a Venetian poet deep in their lineage, Isabella Di Angelo, who just might be the real author of a very famous poem.
Bruni’s villa on the eerie island of La Calamita is extravagant—lush beyond belief, and the other students are both inspiring and intimidating. Venice itself is beautiful, charming, and seductive, but so is Luca Bruni. As his behavior becomes increasingly unnerving, and as Charlotte begins to unearth the long-lost work of Isabella with the help of sweet, smart Italian Dante, other things begin to rise, too—secrets about the past…and secrets about the present.
As the events of the summer build to a shattering climax, Charlotte will be forced to confront some dark truths about the history of powerful men—and about the determination of creative girls.
About the Author
Deb Caletti is the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of over sixteen books for adults and young adults, including Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, a finalist for the National Book Award; A Heart in a Body in the World, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book; Girl, Unframed; and One Great Lie. Her books have also won the Josette Frank Award for Fiction, the Washington State Book Award, and numerous other state awards and honors, and she was a finalist for the PEN USA Award. She lives with her family in Seattle.
* "Printz Honoree Caletti leads her readers through intertwined stories of sexual harassment and misogyny with assurance and a fierce feminism, all while steeping her prose in sensory detail that creates an atmosphere of mystery." — Booklist, Starred Review
* "[A] work that is respectful and restrained yet powerful and emotional. . .The introspective and quiet narrative is beautifully written, with rich sensory details and nuanced explorations of sexuality, artistic motivation, loneliness, and jealousy . . . " — School Library Journal, Starred Review
* "Third-person–present narration foreshadows the dreadful events to come, giving the story a fairy-tale tone and inspiring readers to absorb every luminous detail as the narrative slows down to describe Venice in gorgeous, flowing prose. . . A potent story of how one young woman finds the power to write her own story." — Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
* "The incisive and sharply written, place-laden book balances its contemporary #MeToo narrative with Charlotte’s passionate investigation . . . watching Charlotte [is] empowering." — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Sumptuous descriptions bring the cityscape to life as Charlotte basks in both Venice’s haunting beauty and (at least at first) Bruni’s intoxicating presence . . . Caletti weaves the lives of [two] striving artists together with an expert hand . . ." — Horn Book Magazine
"Caletti superbly depicts a powerful man accustomed to seduction as a perk of position . . . Readers may find this puts experiences of their own into context, and it will certainly give them insight into the questionable power of celebrity and talent." — BCCB