Dear Great Book Guru, I am planning a long weekend in Venice next week and I have prepared mightily with a very ambitious itinerary. But before we leave, I would love to read a novel set in this magical city. Any recommendation? Eager Visitor to Venice
Dear Eager Visitor to Venice, What a beautiful time of year to be in Venice and I have a wonderful book for you: Donna Leon’s UNTO US A SON IS GIVEN. Her protagonist, Police Inspector Guido Brunetti, is a lover of opera, fine food and wine, and the Greek classics. He is devoted to work and family - his wife Paola, a university professor, a teenage son and daughter, and his wealthy in-laws Count and Countess Falier. When the Count askes him to investigate an elderly friend who is acting mysteriously, Brunetti is reluctant to interfere, but when the friend dies unexpectedly, he finds himself deeply involved. What is the nature of love, of fatherhood, of friendship? All these are questions Brunetti considers against the backdrop of the majestic beauty of Venice. Throughout, tender concerns of everyday life mingle seamlessly with larger issues of morality and mortality. This is Leon’s 28th novel and her hero continues to face life’s challenges with his characteristic humor, insight, and stoicism. Highly recommended!