The Palazzo Colombina is home to the Uccello family: three generations of men, trapped together in the dusty palace on Venice’s Grand Canal. Awkward fifteen-year-old Nico. His distant, business-focused father. And his beloved grandfather, Paolo. Paolo is dying. But before he passes, he has secrets he’s waited his whole life to share.
When a Jewish classmate is attacked by bullies, Nico just watches – earning him a week’s suspension and a typed, yellowing manuscript from his frail Nonno Paolo. A history lesson, his grandfather says. A secret he must keep from his father. A tale of blood and madness . . .
Nico is transported back to the Venice of 1943, an occupied city seething under its Nazi overlords, and to the defining moment of his grandfather’s life: when Paolo’s support for a murdered Jewish woman brings him into the sights of the city’s underground resistance.
Hooked and unsettled, Nico can’t stop reading – but he soon wonders if he ever knew his beloved grandfather at all.
The Garden of Angels by David Hewson is an engaging novel. Paolo is on his deathbed and has written his experiences from 1943 in Venice, during WWII. He gives these writings to his grandson, Nico to read over the next six days. It is a very intriguing way to set up a novel.
The time period being shown here is quite harrowing. The writing kept me invested in the story. This is story is about how humans navigate through the most difficult circumstances.
This is quite the thrilling read. Between the past and present, there is so much to gather from this book. It is one that is worth setting aside the time to read without pause. You won’t be able to break away.
Very good book. Gripping, I’d recommend it!
*I received a free copy of this book from Rachel’s Random Resources to review honestly on the blog tour. All opinions are my own and unbiased.*
David Hewson is a former journalist with The Times, The Sunday Times and the Independent. He is the author of more than twenty-five novels, including his Rome-based Nic Costa series which has been published in fifteen languages, and his Amsterdam-based series featuring detective Pieter Vos. He has also written three acclaimed adaptations of the Danish TV series, The Killing. He lives near Canterbury in Kent.
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