Casanova’s Secret Wife
by Barbara Lynn-Davis
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
eBook & Paperback; 304 Pages
Set in eighteenth-century Venice and based on an actual account by Giacomo Casanova—here is a lush tale of desire and risk.
Caterina Capreta was an innocent girl of fourteen when she caught the attention of the world’s most infamous chronicler of seduction: Giacomo Casanova. Intoxicated by a fierce love, she wed Casanova in secret. But his shocking betrayal inspired her to commit an act that would mark her forever …
Now twenty years later on the island of Murano, the woman in possession of Caterina’s most devastating secret has appeared with a request she cannot refuse: to take in a noble-born girl whose scandalous love affair resembles her own. But the girl’s presence stirs up unwelcome memories of Caterina’s turbulent past. Tested like never before, she reveals the story of the man she will never forget.
Bringing to life a fascinating chapter in the history of Venice, Casanova’s Secret Wife is a tour de force that charts one woman’s journey through love and loss to redemption.
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Praise for Casanova’s Secret Wife
“Lynn-Davis admirably incorporates historical detail into this page-turning drama of mystery, love, and loss….Yet the standout is her depiction of Casanova – Lynn-Davis clearly enjoys crafting a real-life character who stands apart from the legend, making him the book’s most enduring character.” – Publishers Weekly
“Lynn-Davis debuts with a fascinating story based on the notorious lover Giacomo Casanova’s writings. With Venice as the romantic backdrop and young love as its focus, this stunning tale of passion, betrayal and redemption is a richly woven tapestry of Casanova’s early life. By bringing little known history to life, Lynn-Davis delivers an unforgettable love story, centering not only on Casanova, but two women who share the beauty of love and the pain of loss; one will find salvation and the other true happiness.”- RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars
“Full of passion and rich historical detail . . . an enthralling read, impossible to put down.” –Phyllis T. Smith, bestselling author
“This is Venice beneath the mask: A dark and fascinating love story hiding in the shadows of the golden city.” –Marina Fiorato, bestselling author of The Glassblower of Murano
“Seductive and unforgettable” –Harmony Verna, author of Daughter of Australia
“Breathtaking, beautiful . . . will mesmerize readers.” –Rosanna Chiofalo, author of Stella Mia
Caterina Capreta became entangled with the infamous Giacoma Casanova at the age of fourteen and has harbored a secret of her love affair and wedding to him for her adult life. When Caterina is called back to the Murano convent where she was a boarded for four years, the memories of Caterina and Casanova's love affair return to her full force. The Abbess, Marina, is an old acquaintance of Caterina's from her time there. Marina asks Caterina for a favor that she cannot refuse; to take in a young pregnant border until the child is delivered. Leda, has found herself in a compromising position from what she believed was true love. As Caterina recognizes herself in Leda, she shares her story of her turbulent time with Casanova. The two women find their similarities, gain friendship and realize the many definitions of love.
I was immediately pulled into Caterina's story along with the inviting setting of Venice. As an adult, Caterina secrets feel compelled to come pouring out. From the time Caterina meets with Marina, I knew there was something deeper there. The mystery of what happened between Caterina and Casanova and how it created a tumultuous divide intrigued me. Through Caterina's letters and stories that she tells Leda, we get to see Casanova in a different way, how he was with one woman whom he truly loved. I was also pleased to see that this is based on some facts that have been discovered. At first, I was a little put off by the fact that Caterina was 14, but apparently this is how old she actually was. I was happily surprised that this was not really a love story, but more of a story of acceptance and coming to terms with the past. With Leda, Caterina is finally able to review that part of her life with someone who understands and put in behind her. Overall, a historical retelling of one of Casanova's many loves and it's consequences from the women's point of view.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Barbara Lynn-Davis graduated from Brown University with a degree in art history. She then worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice and later spent a year there while completing her Ph.D. in Renaissance art at Princeton University.
She currently teaches art history and writing at Wellesley College, and lives outside Boston with her family.
For more information please visit Barbara Lynn-Davis’ website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.