Nel Everett, a young American woman, is touring Italy with her famous musician husband when, in a moment of fury, she pulls down her luggage and gets off the train. As her life speeds away down the tracks, Nel is marooned and on her own for the first time in eight years.
Bewildered, Nel returns to Venice where she encounters a tiny dog who leads her to a enigmatic stranger, a contessa, and a decaying Gothic palazzo. She is soon drawn into a world of charismatic characters, centuries of Venetian history, and the mystery of a lost masterpiece. What begins as a tale of loneliness and heartbreak opens into a dazzling, enchanting story of secrets and self-discovery in a magical city.
“A romance with heft and heart. Walker writes … with amazing candor and insight.” –The Boston Globe
“Emotional restlessness, thwarted desire, the insinuating attraction of the past: These are Walker’s concerns, and her romantic subject matter lends them an attractive, dramatic background.... Walker’s prose is always engaging.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“Delightful.... A modern fairy tale.” –More
“Smart, sexy.” –People
“Kathryn Walker’s beautifully written story of parallel discovery and restoration is powered by searing insights into the costs of love and loss. Longing leads to the recognition of the ‘mysterious gifts concealed in the dark folds of pain.’ The results are joyous.” –Amy Hempel, author of Reasons to Live and The Dog of the Marriage
“Tender.... Venice is lovely any time of year.” –New York Daily News
“[Walker] writes with a graceful fluidity that elevates this novel and makes it an immensely enjoyable read.” –Planet
“This intriguing debut novel quickly charms the reader into a magical world.” –Library Journal
“Walker paints lovely pictures of Venice, with its legendary light ... its crumbling palazzos, and its maddening maze of unmarked city streets and alleys. And she does a convincing job of evoking the emotional netherworld of a young woman who fell into a particular sort of marriage (the one-sided kind that often comes with fame) before she was fully prepared.... Refreshingly realistic.... An appealing story, filled with convincing scholarship and fascinating historical detail.” –Pasatiempo
“A Stopover in Venice is radiant with mystery, romance and history.... Nel–subtle, perceptive, and witty–in flight from a suffocating marriage, discovers the elusiveness of understanding the present, as well as the past, in this brilliant novel of retracing and discovery.” –Susanna Moore, author of The Big Girls and In the Cut
“Walker’s debut novel is an intriguing mix of romance, art history, and mystery.” –Booklist