Published: March 3, 2014
Published by: Laura Morelli
Trade paperback, 306 pages
LCR: Welcome to our blog, Laura! As you can see from my review, I loved your book, and I really liked Luca's character and qualities. Although he is fictional, is he based on someone you know?
LM: Luca, the son of one of the most renowned gondola makers in Venice, took shape in the back of my mind while I was doing research for another book, Made in Italy. I traveled from the Alps to the islands, interviewing contemporary torchbearers of Italy’s centuries-old traditions, everything from Venetian gondolas to limoncello, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Florentine leather, Sicilian pottery, and much more. The living artisans I interviewed told me how important it was to them to pass that torch to the next generation. I began to wonder what would happen if the successor were not able… or willing.
LM: I lived in a small village near Monza for four years, and my first child was born there. I have been fortunate to be able to travel all over the country, but Venice holds a special place in my heart. If you described Venice to someone who had no prior knowledge of it, they might think you were making it up. It’s mind-boggling to think that the entire built environment of Venice--everything from the humblest coffee shop to the grandest church--stands atop thousands of wooden pilings driven into the mud centuries ago. The city has been described as “impossible,” and I think that’s a good way to capture its essence.
LM: I read a variety of non-fiction and fiction, but I have always appreciated historical fiction. I love it when an author can bring the past to life through sights, smells, sounds, and sensations.
LM: I am a risotto geek. Risotto is deceivingly simple—just rice, cheese, and a few more ingredients, right? But there are so many tricks and secrets to getting it right. When I lived in Italy I took every opportunity to learn from friends, family, neighbors, and complete strangers to hone my risotto-making skills. Now its our family’s tradition to make it on Christmas Eve, on special occasions, and on cold winter evenings.
Connect with Laura here: www.lauramorelli.com