I don’t normally resort to mini reviews, but I’m sick and tired and have the post-vacation blues. So here goes:
THE BRIDGE OF SIGHS by Richard Russo
Ah yes, an oldie but a goodie, or so they say. I picked up this book due to the title. I was going to Venice, the Bridge of Sighs is in Venice, so what better book could there be for the first leg of my vacation, right? Wrong. As it turns out, The Bridge of Sighs only marginally takes place in Venice. It was still a good read – it is Richard Russo after all – but it did not immerse me in Venetian life. Let’s chalk this one up to a bad choice for the situation on my part.
THE MASSEY MURDER by Charlotte Gray
The Masseys are a very prominent family in the founding of Toronto. Their history suffuses the streets, but a murder? How had I never heard about that? As it turns out, the murder was in a lesser branch of the Massey family – not THE Masseys so to speak. However, The Massey Murder is still a captivating tales. Gray deftly weaves the social history of the time into the narrative and places the murder within the context of the effects of World War One on Toronto, the burgeoning women’s movement and the plight of immigrants. In some ways it is a great companion to What Disturbs the Blood by James Fitzgerald in its recounting of Toronto’s social history.