February 27th, 2024
Home | Log in!

On Top Shelf
Fresh Pick

New Books This Week

Fresh Fiction Box

Video Book Club

Leap Year Giveaways

Sweet Reads in February

Slideshow image

Since your web browser does not support JavaScript, here is a non-JavaScript version of the image slideshow:

slideshow image
Rumors aren't the only thing that will stir when Abigail returns to Boone County, Texas.

slideshow image
From Loss to Love: A Pilot and an Artist's Colliding Worlds

slideshow image
Caffeine and Commitments: Stirring Up Love in San Francisco

slideshow image
"Her biggest fan �has a fatal obsession."

slideshow image
Bloodlines and Boardrooms: A Paranormal Romance of Power and Passion

slideshow image
A new, action-packed adventure that blends science-fiction technology and magical fantasy elements with a touch of historical romance.

The Waters of Eternal Youth

The Waters of Eternal Youth, March 2016
by Donna Leon

Atlantic Monthly Press
Featuring: Commissario Guido Brunetti
ISBN: 0802124801
EAN: 9780802124807
Kindle: B0163BZ34C
Hardcover / e-Book
Add to Wish List


"By the waters of the laguna a grandmother weeps"

Fresh Fiction Review

The Waters of Eternal Youth
Donna Leon

Reviewed by Clare O'Beara
Posted June 6, 2016


Promotion is slow in Venice, and the twenty-fifth book in the Commissario Brunetti series sees our friend as content with his lot as ever. The city's stinking canals, used in place of streets, could hardly be called THE WATERS OF ETERNAL YOUTH.

The novel opens with a familiar tune: Venice is under threat from rising water, European grant money has been stolen, politicians are corrupt, immigrants are increasing, and the Ministry is trying to hack its own police officers' e-mails. So far, so normal. Contessa Lando-Continui, who lives in a palazzo, asks to speak to Brunetti. This lady's family knew tragedy fifteen years previously, when the Contessa's granddaughter nearly drowned. Young Manuela was rescued but brain-damaged and has never recovered. The Contessa harbors doubt that this accident was truly accidental.

Amid tender family scenes with his wife Paola and teen children Chiara and Raffi, Brunetti investigates the other, wealthier family. Manuela had been a keen horsewoman but hated the water, making her near-drowning all the more strange. Now she has a mental age of seven, and her horse is out to pasture. Sinister moves occur when Brunetti's investigation is known, with the murder of the sole witness to the girl's fall.

Senior police officer Claudia Griffoni brings a welcome splash of feminism to the story, and as it happens she was a medalist in dressage in her youth. No better person to connect with the retired horse. Autumn in Venice brings rain and plenty of it; almost as much as the continued flood of allegations of organized crime. Arrogance should be a crime, some people believe, and if it was, plenty of Venetian citizens would be under threat of arrest. We follow the alternately jaded and principled Brunetti around the gusty alleys and narrow bridges, picking up more gossip than clues, trying to right an old wrong.

I'm a horse lover so I enjoyed the thread of equestrianism. For once the ending of a Brunetti case pleased me. All too often the policeman is left helpless by entrenched corruption. A minor character notes that Argentina makes Italy look as clean as Sweden. German author Donna Leon holds our attention firmly as ever in THE WATERS OF ETERNAL YOUTH, lapping around the feet of her determined detective.

Learn more about The Waters of Eternal Youth


In Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti series, the Venetian inspector has been called on to investigate many things, from shocking to petty crimes. But in The Waters of Eternal Youth, the 25th novel in this celebrated series, Brunetti finds himself drawn into a case that may not be a case at all. Fifteen years ago, a teenage girl fell into a canal late at night. Unable to swim, she went under and started to drown, only surviving thanks to a nearby man, an alcoholic, who heard her splashes and pulled her out, though not before she suffered irreparable brain damage that left her in a state of permanent childhood, unable to learn or mature. The drunk man claimed he saw her thrown into the canal by another man, but the following day he couldn’t remember a thing. Now, at a fundraising dinner for a Venetian charity, a wealthy and aristocratic patroness—the girl’s grandmother—asks Brunetti if he will investigate. Brunetti’s not sure what to do. If a crime was committed, it would surely have passed the statute of limitations. But out of a mixture of curiosity, pity, and a willingness to fulfill the wishes of a guilt-wracked older woman, who happens to be his mother-in-law’s best friend, he agrees. Brunetti soon finds himself unable to let the case rest, if indeed there is a case. Awash in the rhythms and concerns of contemporary Venetian life, from historical preservation, to housing, to new waves of African migrants, and the haunting story of a woman trapped in a damaged perpetual childhood, The Waters of Eternal Youth is another wonderful addition to this series.

What do you think about this review?


No comments posted.

Registered users may leave comments.
Log in or register now!




© 2003-2024 off-the-edge.net  all rights reserved Privacy Policy