Book Review: A House Near Luccoli

Thank you, Laurel, for this lovely, honest review:

Laurel's Reflections

A House Near Luccoli: A Novel of Musical Intimacy & Intrigue in 17th Century Genoa by DM Denton (All Things That Matter Press, 2012)

I have a deep appreciation for things that appeal to my sense of beauty.  While I enjoy many novels for a multitude of varying reasons, from their excellent characterisation to their capacity to make me see the world in new ways, teach me new things or simply engage my rapt attention, there are only a few that have captured me with their lyricism and beauty. The historic novel ‘A House Near Luccoli’ by DM Denton flows with a rhythm and melody that took me some time to adjust to – her sophisticated style took a little time to attune to, and I initially found myself re-reading paragraphs to ensure I was completely clear on what was happening. However, once I let go of my structured…

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Unveiling …

… the cover artwork for the upcoming,

To A Strange Somewhere Fled

(sequel to A House Near Luccoli).

Cover Artwork To A Strange Somewhere Fled smaller for blog post

Copyright 2014 by DM Denton

 

     She had just begun to feel relaxed at the big house, not as if she belonged there but a little less intrusive each time she walked up its long crunching drive in sun and shade until the oaks had greened and dropped their catkins and the horse chestnuts lifted into candle flowers. It was odd but quite helpful that it never rained on those days. If her mother wasn’t with her and the Captain hurried ahead in hopes of meeting Roger, Donatella would take little detours that didn’t change her destination, although there was a sense of getting lost in the grazing sheep and naturalness around her. She felt her legs tighten up the banks for she had walked so little in her life and run even less. Looping her sagging satchel of books and papers around her, she took off like a kitten moving faster than it knew how to. It felt good to leave the ground and swing her arms, to trip and even slide as she thought no one saw. ~ From To A Strange Somewhere Fled

 

In the excerpt above, ‘she’ is Donatella, the female protagonist of A House Near Luccoli, the ‘big house’ is Wroxton Abbey and ‘Roger” is the Honorable Roger North. The setting of the novel is late Restoration England (1682-1683).

Have a way to go to transform the image into an actual book cover, but hope you enjoyed this preview!

 

donatellasmallest©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.

 

Repost: The Man Who Gave Me Flowers

I was feeling sorry for myself when I thought of the man who gave me flowers.

He said very little, saw such a lot, couldn’t read but was a master of growing.

He had barely avoided being lost in a mine shaft and had suffered a nervous breakdown over climbing ladders; but in retirement he made a real living out of pottering and obsessing—never lonelier, never happier, never available to anything but his bliss.

His specialties were sweet peas and chrysanthemums, the latter daisy-like or pompon-shaped and enormous like the inedible onions he also won prizes for. But the former were unwritten poetry: long-stemmed, crepe-papery, candy-colored and as sweetly scented.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

He sowed them early and prayed for gentle rain, cool sunshine and uneventful nights. He trained them up bamboo poles, tying them loosely so it was their idea to reach upwards. Suckers were cut off to ensure long strong stems; so were the tendrils that could make a mess of his plans. As the buds appeared he shielded them against the weather; as they blossomed he cut and arranged them in green metal vases with narrow bases and wide brims. The first crop over, he knew how to get another, folding the stalks down, a trick that fooled them into thinking they had to begin again.

They brought him visitors, a little cash (kept under his mattress) and a lot of praise, satisfaction and disbelief, and frustration because he couldn’t bear to waste his time on such things.

He never made me feel unwelcome, giving me a special bouquet he had put aside.  I had nothing to say but “thank you, it’s beautiful.”

All I really knew of him were the flowers he gave me.

I have sweet peas in my garden now, allowed free reign by my laziness, with suckers and tendrils, reaching and falling, rain soaked and wind broken, encouraged and burned by the sun, yet somehow as perfect as the ones he grew.

About that he maintains a heavenly silence.

 

This was first posted June 2013.

Alas, this year, some critters ate my sweet peas before they had a chance to climb and wander and flower.

 I have planted nothing but memories in their place.

Maybe next year …



donatellasmallest

©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.