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Monday, April 4, 2011

Media Monday - A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena de Blasi

Format: paperback
Subject: unexpected romance/ memoir
Setting: mostly Venice
Characters: Marlena and Fernando ‘the stranger’
Genre: memoir
Source: Amazon

“My father’s wish was that I be quickly sistemato, situated, find a job, find a safe path, and stay dutifully on it.  Early on I learned to want what he wanted.  And with time I accumulated layers and layers of barely transparent bandaging over my eyes, over my dreams.’

“Wait’” I plead, flipping pages, trying to find cerotti, bandages. “What happened to your eyes?  Why were there bandages?’” I want to know.

“Non letteralmente.  Not literally,” he roars.  He is impatient.  I am a dolt who, living 12 hours with an Italian, cannot yet follow the drift of his galloping imagery.

Newly arrived in Venice on a trip with friends Marlena receives a phone call while they sit sipping wine.  Who could it be?  No one knows that they have arrived yet or where they are.  On the other end is the beautiful voice of an Italian man that she has never met asking her to meet him the next day.  Less then a month later he arrives to visit her in America and ask her to marry him, and soon she is selling her house, quitting her job and moving to Venice where she makes a new life with this stranger that she loves.

She is a writer and a chef that has lived most of her dreams, he is a banker who forgot his. He saw her and fell in love and the world changed.  It was as if he had been sleeping his whole like and woke up.  No sparks, no fireworks just a connection, a feeling of always being married but not being able to find each other. 

While she learns to live in Venice, and make his bachelor abode into a home he is also going through a transformation, now as he says “no more waiting”, no more going through life asleep. It is time to be awake and live. 

I am sure that many people will cringe at the thought of packing up and leaving everything behind to go to a foreign country to live with and eventually marry a person that you have known for only a very short amount of time.  I don’t want to give too much of the tale away, but this is a beautiful love story about two very different people that has been very well written and I can’t wait to read her next 3 books.

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