The Book Of Human Skin

Paperback | June 8, 2010

byMichelle Lovric

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Midday, May 13, 1784: An earthquake in Peru tears up the white streets of Arequipa. As the dust settles, a young girl arrives at the devastated convent of Santa Catalina. At the same moment, oceans away in Venice, an infant tears his way out of his mother’s womb. The great Palazzo Espagnol, built on Peruvian silver and New World drugs, has an heir by the name of Minguillo Fasan.

Twelve years later, Venice is in Napoleon’s sights and Minguillo is listening to the birth-cries of his new sister, Marcella, a delicate, soft-skinned threat to his inheritance. Meanwhile, at Santa Catalina, the scarred young girl has become Sor Loreta, whose craving for sainthood is taking a decidedly sinister turn. Aided by a loyal servant, an irascible portrait-painter, a young doctor obsessed with skin, a warhorse of a Scottish merchant, and a cigar-smoking pornographer nun, Marcella pits her fierce heart against Minguillo’s pitiless machinations. Her journey takes her from Napoleon’s shamed Venice to the last picaresque days of colonial Peru—where the fanatical Sor Loreta has plans of her own for the young girl from Venice...

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Midday, May 13, 1784: An earthquake in Peru tears up the white streets of Arequipa. As the dust settles, a young girl arrives at the devastated convent of Santa Catalina. At the same moment, oceans away in Venice, an infant tears his way out of his mother’s womb. The great Palazzo Espagnol, built on Peruvian silver and New World drugs,...

Michelle Lovric is the author of two previous novels and she compiles bestselling anthologies for clients such as Past Times and the British Museum. Her third novel, The Remedy, was longlisted for the 2005 Orange Prize for Fiction. She divides her time between her converted wharf on the Thames and a palazzo on the Grand Canal in Venice...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:512 pages, 9 × 1.3 × 1.4 inPublished:June 8, 2010Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143177265

ISBN - 13:9780143177265

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Customer Reviews of The Book Of Human Skin

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superb dark tale of love and obsession. At the beginning of the book the author (maybe in the voice of Minguillo Fasan) warns that the following will be an uncomfortable experience and indeed it was. The story of Marcella Fasan is told from the points of view of the different protagonists including Marcella herself. Gianni delle Boccole: servant in the Fasan household. He does his best to watch out for Marcella. He is presumed illiterate. Minguillo Fasan: Marcella’s brother is evil, consumed with jealousy, obsessive and totally without conscience. Despite all this, he’s the character that interacts with the reader the most in a way making him or her an accomplice to his misdeeds. Sor Loreta: Nun at the Santa Catalina convent. She’s a delusional religious fanatic. Her contribution to the story isn’t clear at the beginning. Doctor Santo Albobrandini: Protector, friend, lover to Marcella? Marcella Fasan: Bullied and tortured by her brother, she’s forced to take on the roles of invalid, madwoman, and nun. The tone of the book gets a little dark sometimes specially when reading from the point of view of Minguillo or Sor Loreta but nevertheless it is an enjoyable read. The story includes descriptions of life in Venice and Peru in the early 1800s. The reader will also get an education on how medicine was practiced and the influence Napoleon had on Venice at the time. I highly recommend this book.
Date published: 2011-01-02