Through A Venetian Looking Glass: A Novel of Remembrances-Hans Peter Braendlin

Through A Venetian Looking Glass: A Novel of Remembrances
Hans Peter Braendlin
Fithian Press/Daniel & Daniel Publishers, Mar 10 2014, $15.99
ISBN: 9781564745514

Thirteen years ago, ten year old Frederic Petitfeu died in a drowning accident caused by stormy weather. Time may heal all wounds, but his parents Jean-Pierre the artist and Claire the California English teacher still grieve their loss. Married for thirty-five years, the couple, encouraged by their daughter Frankie, went on a come together healing car tour of Mediterranean Western Europe that culminated with marital renewal and solace in Venice. Since that first trip not long after the funeral, they have returned to the watery city annually for five days.

On their twelfth trip to Venice, Jean-Pierre finds an early sixteenth century manuscript hidden in their room. The document contains the memoir of Giovanni Pietro Pofoco written not long before he apparently died. In contrast to the journal kept by Claire since her beloved son died, Pofoco’s life is filled with violence as personal and city brouhahas are the norm abetted by corruption; yet he also balanced the ugliness with plenty of pleasures filled with vino and women.

Not for everyone, this is a fascinating yet convoluted look at people, past and present, struggling to make the best of their lives. The twisting storyline keeps readers guessing as to what is going on with Pofoco as nothing is what it first appears; or for that matter second and third assertions either. Character-driven to include the sixteenth century and modern day city, fans who appreciate something radically unique and fresh will want to read this rambling “Novel of Remembrances.”

Harriet Klausner

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