Sail Away to Venice with The Gondola Maker by Laura Morelli (My Review)

The Gondola Maker
by Laura Morelli
Copyright 2014
ISBN: 9780989367103
The Story:
From the author of Made in Italy comes a tale of artisanal tradition and family bonds set in one of the world's most magnificent settings: Renaissance Venice.

When Luca Vianello, the heir to a renowned gondola-making enterprise, experiences an unexpected tragedy in the boatyard, he believes that his destiny lies elsewhere. Soon he finds himself drawn to restore an antique gondola with the dream of taking a girl for a ride. Lovers of historical fiction will appreciate the authentic details of gondola craftsmanship, along with an intimate first-person narrative set against the richly textured backdrop of 16th-century Venice.

Book Trailer:

My Thoughts:
Venice, Italy, is at the top of a lot of people's bucket lists -- including mine! I'm a bit of a realist and the way things are going right now, I won't be headed there any time soon. Thankfully, with books like The Gondola Maker by Laura Morelli it's easy to take the trip on the Grand Canal and "see" Venice and all of its rich history.

Luca Vianello is the heir to his family's gondola making business. When the boatyard is unexpectedly and accidentally destroyed, he has no other choice but to flee his home. With the help of some new friends, he's able to pull together a life as a boatman for the painter, Trevisan. When a devious councilman finds out about one of Luca's new friendships, Luca's life will be changed yet again.

The historian in me loved everything about this book, including the author's resource list at the back of the book. Huzzah for the primary resource! Well-researched stories make for the best, most interesting reads. The Gondola Maker is one such novel. I'll admit that usually stories written from the male viewpoint can be hard to relate to and connect with, but I felt the pull of Venice and the canals through Luca's eyes and fell in love. Luca's tale of loss and woe became one of hope and reunion that kept me turning the pages. I was a little frustrated by the lack of thought for his family on Luca's part through the latter half of the story especially since they were so important to him at the beginning of the book. When all is said and done however, The Gondola Maker, is one of the better general market historical fiction stories that I've read in a long time. It was especially good considering it is a self-published novel! I rarely recommend self-published books to readers, but The Gondola Maker is a rare exception. Definitely pick this one up if you have the chance!

~ My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ~

*I receive complimentary books for review from the publisher. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*

Happy Reading!


  1. this sounds really good, nice review, Renee!!

  2. Renee, I'm glad you enjoyed The Gondola Maker. Excellent review!

  3. I dream of seeing Venice. *le sigh* This sounds great. Gorgeous cover too!

    1. I loved the cover too! For a self-pubbed book, everything was done right!

  4. So glad you enjoyed the book, Renee! Laura Morelli accepted the IPPY Award for Best Adult Fiction at BEA for The Gondola Maker just yesterday.

    Thanks again for participating in this tour!


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