Two impossible love stories are fatefully connected by one artistic legacy in a stunning debut that leaps between the mysteries of late Renaissance Venice and the dramas of present-day Connecticut.
In the months following her beloved father's death, introverted book restorer Rose has found solace in her work. But on one rainy Connecticut afternoon, struggling painter William Lomazzo appears at her door. He brings with him a sixteenth-century treatise on art, left remarkably intact; Rose is quickly able to identify the pages as a palimpsest, a document written over a hidden text that had purposely been scraped away. Yet the restoration poses a confounding issue: Rose and William--a married man--are captivated by one another, an unspoken attraction linking them almost instantly.
Five centuries earlier, Renaissance-era Venetians find themselves at the mercy of an encroaching Ottoman fleet, preparing for a bloody war. Giovanni Lomazzo, a respected portrait artist still grappling with the death of his wife and young son, is terrified to discover his vision declining with each passing day, forcing him to document his every encounter as he faces the possibility of a completely dark, colorless world. Commissioned to paint the enchanting courtesan of one of Venice's most respected military commanders--what may very well be his final artistic feat--Gio soon finds himself enraptured by a dangerous, magnificent forbidden love. All the while, the threat of the Ottoman Empire looms as the rival army hopes to lay siege to the port city.
Spellbound by Gio's revelations, Rose and William find themselves forced to confront the reality of their own mystifying connection. A richly detailed page-turner shadowed by one of history's darkest times, The Lost Diary of Venice weaves a heartbreakingly vivid portrait of two vastly different worlds and two tales of entrancing, unrelenting love.