by Marina Julia Neary
Imagine a nerdy cat lady and a rakish, self-destructive rock star. Now throw
this scenario back to 17th century Genoa, and you get “A House Near Luccoli”.
Music history is filled with stories of composers who were dismissed by their
contemporaries only to be rediscovered deified decades, sometimes centuries
later. Alessandro Stradella’s story is the opposite. He was quite an emblem in
his day and had since faded into relative obscurity. My mother is a classical
musician, and when I asked her about Stradella’s status in the musical pantheon,
she looked puzzled. “He doesn’t get played much these days”, she said. For this
very reason I applaud the author, DM Denton for pulling this composer from
obscurity. His personal life makes for a great plot for a picaresque novel. And
yet, “A House Near Luccoli” is not a traditional picaresque. It’s a
psychologically authentic study of ambition, polarization of gender roles in a
Catholic country, where men, especially those endowed with musical talent, were
excused from the conventions imposed upon women. It’s about the position of a
star in the society and the perilous liberties it implies.
I owe much to finally being a published author to Marina. She is an accomplished writer, exhibiting edgy wit, sublime intelligence, and an engaging sense of theater! You can check out her work here.
See my review of her novel, Martyrs and Traitors, A Tale of 1916 about another obscure figure in history, Bulmer Hopson, a misunderstood antihero involved in the ill-fated Irish Easter rebellion.
And more happy news: A House Near Luccoli is now in production to be an audio book which should be available mid-April. Thanks to Deb and Phil, my lovely publishers for believing in me and submitting to ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange)! It will be available through amazon, audible.com, and iTunes.
©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.