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Water Music, by Christine Balint (2021 co-winner of the Seizure Viva La Novella Prize)

Sounds inspiring-I wonder if she is related to the highly creative Hungarian psychoanalyst, Michael Balint.

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

Co-winner of the 2021 Viva La Novella Prize with Every Day is Gertie Day by Helen Meany (see my review), Christine Balint’s novella Water Music is an exquisite portrait of the way artistic ambition often comes with a hard price to pay.

Set in 18th century Venice, it’s the story of 16-year-old Lucietta, an orphan with an unknown benefactor who makes her education possible.  She grows up to be a talented violinist, and is given a place at the Derelitti Convent, the (real-life) musical orphanage for girls.

Unlike *yawn* many historical novels set in Venice, Water Music isn’t an homage to this most beautiful of Renaissance cities.  Lucietta has a limited life, and her horizons are limited by her gender and her social class.  For her there is only her waterside home, and the convent.  Place is superbly realised: the reader can smell the dank fishy air; she…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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