As a Moth to a Flame

New 5 Star Review of my novel, A House Near Luccoli:

Full Cover ImageImagine yourself a woman caring for a beloved grandmother and under the thumb of a domineering aunt. Imagine yourself in Genoa in the late seventeenth century, a woman circumscribed by being a woman in an era when women’s single role was to get married and have children. One of the most reliable story plots begins like this: A stranger comes to town. And so begins Diane Denton’s novel. The stranger is Stradella, famed Baroque composer, a roue driven from other towns and settling here, in a house with three women and a sexy young servant. Which one will bed him? Will he seduce rich women and make himself persona non grata here as well? Or has he come her to make, not mischief, but music? Will the sound of that music spill down into the grandmother’s bedroom, a private concert, and will Stradella somehow come to know that Donatella, the thirtiesh spinster, is musically trained and could be of great help to her?

I love historical novels and any story that features a genius and the person who stands behind the genius: a muse, an amanuesis, a lover. Back in late seventeenth century Genoa, inevitably, that person would have been a woman. When Stradella, the feted Baroque composer, takes up residence in her house, Donatella is drawn to him as a moth to flame. The minuet of their attraction and our curiosity about whether the famous Stradella will recognize her gifts kept me reading from the first page to the last. The sentences in this poetic and evocative novel will echo long after you finish the story, but like poetry, you may find yourself slowing down to savor the whispers and stand, for just a minute, at the open window. If you like THE GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING (book or movie), you will love this book.

~ Marylee MacDonald, author of Montpelier Tomorrow and other publications.

Read review on Goodreads

Thank you, Marylee, for this beautifully written review!

Every day is one closer to the release of the sequel,

 To A Strange Somewhere Fled.

Copyright 2014 by DM Denton

Copyright 2014 by DM Denton

In the meantime, my imagination is my memory.

My writing moves forwards and backwards

to explore past lives,

Anne Brontë,

the nature of things,

and my endless love of cats …


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.

10 thoughts on “As a Moth to a Flame

    • Thank you, Martin! (Sorry it took me so long to acknowledge your comment). Yes, I’m going to be writing a collection of fictional pieces about obscure women writers and am starting with Anne Bronte. Right now I’m doing my reading and research about her … of course, you can’t study one Bronte without studying them all. Even as I thought I knew much about them (I’ve been enthralled with them since I was ten or eleven), I’m learning so much and feeling more and more directed to bring Anne out of the shadows. Nothing happens creatively by accident. I’ve set myself quite a challenge, so we’ll see how it goes. Thanks for your visit. All the best. xo


  1. What a wonderful review, Diane, which you are so deserving of and your illustration here is beyond amazing…I can’t wait for the sequel, my friend…hope you are doing well and have a lovely weekend! Hugs! ♥


  2. What a marvellous review Diane! And vey wrll deserved I have to add. Looking forward to the sequel so much! And your illustration here, exquisite as ever.
    I still havent read The Girl with the Pearl Earring, although it has been waiting in the queue on my kindle for agood while. Maybe it will be next 😊. Love and hugs ❤️ Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it is a lovely review, Christine. I have had some beautiful ones and am so grateful for all, including you, who have taken the time, not only to read the novel, but also to share their reflections on it. Marylee’s mention of Girl with the Pearl Earring has offered me a great promo line (I never mentioned her beforehand that that novel had been a great inspiration for “A House …”). XO ♥


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