Christina herself, with her insecurities and her somewhat amazing strength ... comes across in the novel as someone who, as hesitant as she could be, is an independent thinker and spirit who never married and lived life as she thought it should be lived. What made the novel important to me, however, was the amazing amount of detail about the Rossetti household and the milieu in which the family lived that Denton conjures, partly from research and partially from her imagination. ~ Thomas Davis, author of The Prophesy of the Wolf
How many children could say their home hosted the humblest and highest at the same time, on any given evening invaded by expatriates their father never hesitated to invite in? Through the back door he welcomed a bookseller, organ grinder, biscuit maker, macaroni man, and one called Galli who thought he was Christ. Through the front, disgraced Italian counts and generals made as officious entrances as a small house on Charlotte Street afforded." Christina Georgina Rossetti is the youngest of four siblings in a close-knit, creative Anglo-Italian family. A spirited child like her brother, Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, in adolescence she struggles with being sickly and depressed. She emerges "a dove on a solitary branch," realizing her voice through writing, most exceptionally poetry. Her respectable Victorian life teeters on the edge of a bohemian one. London is Christina’s beginning and end; travels, possibilities and impossibilities for love and marriage, ambivalent ambition, piety, charity, illness, and bonds of blood, heart, and soul tell her story. Journeys through observation, reflection, and imagination create her legacy.
Without the Veil Between catches both the triumph and the tragedy of Anne's short but courageous and determined life. This book gives us ... Anne herself ... a writer of remarkable prescience and moral courage. ~ D. Bennison, Bennison Books
... a meaningful homage to the memory of Anne Bronte. ~ Maddalena De Leo Italian Representative for The Bronte Society
Without the Veil Between follows Anne through the last seven years of her life. It begins in 1842 while she is still governess for the Robinson family of Thorpe Green, away from Haworth and her family most of the time, with opportunities to travel to York and Scarborough, places she develops deep affection for. Although, as with her siblings, circumstances eventually bring her back home, she is not deterred in her quest for individual purpose and integrity. She stands as firm in her ambitions as Charlotte does and is a powerful conciliator in light of Emily’s resistance to the publication of their poetry and novels.
In turns moving and exhilarating, sad and joyous, the author moves dexterously from scene to scene: from exquisitely rendered intimate and searching conversations between Stradella and Donatella to the pace and excitement of the final scenes at the Carnevale, leading to a dénouement that is both an ending and a beginning. The novel has no longueurs or loss of pace; its skillfully constructed momentum makes for a compelling read. ~ D. Bennison, Bennison Books
A House Near Luccolifocuses on chance encounters, beautiful music and the paradox of genius through an imagined intimacy with one of the most legendary and undervalued figures of Italian Baroque music. Over three years since the charismatic composer Alessandro Stradella sought refuge in the palaces and twisted alleys of Genoa, royally welcomed despite alleged scandals and even crimes that forced him to flee Rome, Venice, and Turin, his professional and personal life have begun to unravel again. He is offered a respectable if slightly shabby apartment and yet another chance to redeem his character and career. He moves in to the curiosity and consternation of his caretakers, also tenants, three women whose reputations are of concern only to themselves.
Music and passionate lyricism inform this book ... lingers in the mind like some elusive and beautiful tune ... ~ Historical Novel Society
After the sudden end to her collaboration with the composer Alessandro Stradella, Donatella moves from Genoa to join her parents in a small village in Oxfordshire, England. The gift of a sonnet, 'stolen' music, inexpressible secrets, and an irrepressible spirit have stowed away on her journey. Haunted by whispers and visions, angels and demons, will she rise out of grief and aimlessness? Her father's friendship with the residents of Wroxton Abbey, who are important figures in the court of Charles II, offers new possibilities, especially, as music and its masters, including the 'divine' Henry Purcell, have not finished with her yet.