A House Near Luccoli
The remarkable Baroque composer Alessandro Stradella stands at the center of Denton’s bright, sparkling novel A House Near Luccoli. Unmarried, mid-thirties Genoan woman Donatella encounters the volatile, slightly disreputable genius and at first is appalled by his manners and eccentric ways, but she and others are also gradually taken by his undeniable charm.
Denton is an unapologetically enthusiastic writer (exclamation points abound), imbuing even her minor secondary characters with three-dimensional life. Her research into all aspects of the period is thorough but not wooden; this is foremost a book of characters and character-study, ultimately in many ways a book about how friendships form. Stradella’s life came to a very abrupt end, and this book does too, a bit – but it’s all immensely enjoyable just the same. Highly recommended.