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The Venetian's Wife: A Strangely Sensual Tale of a Renaissance Explorer, a Computer, and a Metamorphosis - Nick Bantock Read the full review, with photos of the art at:
http://guiltlessreading.blogspot.com/2011/09/venetians-wife-by-nick-bantock.html

The book in one sentence: A bored young art conservator rekindles her passion for life starting with an unlikely encounter with a drawing of the Hindu God Shiva.

My thoughts: This is an unusual book. The title alone gives you an inkling that it's not a typical story. In fact, it may seem such an odd combination that it may put you off. After all, what on earth could these things have in common: a Renaissance Explorer, a Computer, and a Metamorphosis?

But that is exactly what you'll get and there is nothing remotely corny about it. In fact, I found the experience of flipping through this book quite heady - a combination of romance, a mystery story, the mysticism of India, and rich luxuriant images.

The book opens with the renaissance explorer - a flashback to Niccolo Conti's anguish as he loses his beloved wife. It then comes back to the present-day and Sara Wolfe's arousing encounter with a drawing of Shiva in the museum where she works.

An unlikely correspondence ensues. Someone who has witnessed her extreme reaction in the museum contacts her through email, and she is offered a job: to track down the missing pieces of a 15th-century adventurer's collection of Indian sculptures. Her employer, Niccolo Conti - curiously of the same name as the explorer - insists on communicating solely through the computer. Who is he? Why does he want to communicate only through email?

Curiouser and curiouser.

Read the full review, with photos of the art at:
http://guiltlessreading.blogspot.com/2011/09/venetians-wife-by-nick-bantock.html