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A House Near Luccoli

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  34 ratings  ·  19 reviews
A House near Luccoli focuses on chance encounters, beautiful music and the paradox of genius through an imagined intimacy with one of the most legendary and undervalued figures of Italian Baroque music.

Over three years since the charismatic 17th century composer, violinist, and singer Alessandro Stradella sought refuge in the palaces and twisted alleys of Genoa, royally w
Paperback, 204 pages
Published August 27th 2012 by All Things That Matter Press (first published August 23rd 2012)
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A House Near Luccoli is a poetic and thought-provoking historical novel. At times joyous, at others melancholy, it tells the story of Donatella, when the composer Alessandro Stradella moves into the house she shares with her aunt and bed-ridden grandmother. Stradella takes over the top floor and soon becomes a central part of Donatella's life.

The book is not a long one, but it's not a fast read. There is so much detail in virtually every sentence that it's something to linger over and savour. I
Steve Lindahl
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Classical musicians were the rock stars of the seventeenth century, especially in places like Genoa, Italy. A House Near Luccoli takes an interesting approach to one of those stars, Alessandro Stradella, a composer who was famous during his life but whose fame has faded compared to contemporaries such as Vivaldi and Handel. The book's narrator is Donatella, a young woman who has the good fortune to live with her aunt and ailing grandmother in a house owned by Signor Garibaldi, the prince of Geno ...more
Mary Clark
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
The author’s style takes the conventional and then begins the deconstruction, the rearrangements, to bring us into the reality of Alessandro Stradella, a gifted Baroque composer and musician. This deconstruction and rearranging is what an artist does. Rather than imitate reality, he selects what is important to him, and abstracts what is essential to achieve a new reality. People, relationships, emotions and ideas are put through this process of reordering. The artist abstracts what is vital and ...more
Christoph Fischer
May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A most beautiful and engaging novel about Baroque musician Alessandro Stradella. Mixing fact with fictional elements we get to witness this colourful and fascinating subject in his professional and private life.
The flow of the writing is smooth and pulled me in from the first chapter - something that few historical novels master. The prose is wonderful and the pace just perfect.
There is a great story to tell about this man and the music world of the 17th Century. I was amazed at how much I enjo
Margaret Panofsky
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In “A House Near Luccoli,” DM Denton successfully blends the lives of a fictional female character with an existing historical figure to create a tale that is both believable and moving. The 17th-century Italian composer Alessandro Stradella is well enough known to those of us in the early-music field, although his works are under-appreciated today. However, in the Wikipedia article’s words, “He enjoyed a dazzling career as a freelance composer, writing on commission, and collaborating with dist ...more
Casee Marie
Oct 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Alessandro Stradella was a legend in his time, a celebrated composer who took Italy in the 17th century by storm; wrestled from fame to infamy, Stradella received accolades and evictions alike, finally coming to Genoa after being sent from Rome, Turin, and Venice. Despite his scandals, his seductive genius for Baroque music and his overwhelming charm reserved for him a place of esteem within the nobility of Genoa. In D.M. Denton’s languid new novel, A House Near Luccoli, the author examines the ...more
Jan 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Wendy by: Goodreads Giveaways
Shelves: historical, romance
"A House Near Luccoli" which I won through Goodreads Giveaways is a musical symphony of beauty that begins with the compelling 17th century composer, violinist, and singer Alessandro (Sandro) Stradella. A maestro with a scandalous reputation, Sandro has taken up residence in a shabby apartment in Genoa surrounded by curious tenants and three women whose sense of decorum is determined by age and attitude. He wants to regain his popularity and respectability, but his past and scandalous appetite m ...more
Marylee MacDonald
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Imagine yourself a woman caring for a beloved grandmother and under the thumb of a domineering aunt. Imagine yourself in Genoa in the late seventeenth century, a woman circumscribed by being a woman in an era when women's single role was to get married and have children. One of the most reliable story plots begins like this: A stranger comes to town. And so begins Diane Denton's novel. The stranger is Stradella, famed Baroque composer, a roue driven from other towns and settling here, in a house ...more
P.J. Wetzel
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
D.M. Denton is an artist, and 'A House Near Luccoli' is more musical composition than historical novel. Which befits her subject - the last years of lesser known Baroque Italian composer Alessandro Stradella as experienced by the protagonist 35-year-old 'spinster' Donatella. Donatella is an unlikely foil for the flamboyant Stradella. She expects no interaction with the new tenant, as he moves into the boarding house where she lives. She considers him beyond reach - as we might a movie star on th ...more
Kim Rendfeld
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautifully written story with an atypical heroine.

You can’t help but like Donatella. Having had her heart broken in the past, she remains unmarried in her mids-30s, past her prime by the standards of this era, yet she is not bitter. In fact, she is a sweet woman with the soul of an artist. She cares for her grandmother, a former opera singer who encourages her granddaughter to take more chances with her artistic aspirations. But with a domineering aunt and in a restrictive society, Do
Jo Butler
Nov 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Alessandro Stradella is a flamboyant musician in Baroque Italy. By turns acclaimed for his talent, and outcast for shady dealings and dalliances with highly-placed women, Stradella flees Rome and Venice for Genoa in 1678. There he moves into an apartment in a house near Luccoli Street.

Donatella cares for the house near Luccoli, along with her bedridden, beloved grandmother and overbearing aunt. In the past she has loved unwisely, and is reluctantly settling into spinsterhood when Stradella arriv
Sep 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“She might have found comfort in making the most of it, like her cats sharing the day's last sunlight, one small splash from the sea's horizon to the edge of the carpet's shore.”

A House Near Luccoli is full of such lovely and lyrical prose which gently transports the reader to 17th century Genoa, Italy. Taking in the author's wonderful words, one can almost smell the gardens and sachets, taste the food and wine, feel the summer heat, see the musical notes being carefully transcribed, the sunshi
Susan Jones
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I won a book from Diane Denton

A House near Luccoli. I couldn’t have imagined how romantic and poetic the story would be. I know Diane is a brilliant artist and poet, because I follow her blog and website. So reading the story, you feel as if you’re there, in 17th Century Genoa. It’s a love story between Donatella who is in her mid-thirties and unmarried, she lives with her aunt and gran, who is called nonna. Nonna is bed ridden, but she still instigates for Donatella to become Allesandro Stradel
Paul Stam
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There is nothing that plucks the heartstrings so completely as a good love story. All the best know and loved are those that end tragically: Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, and Alessandro and Donatella.
In her Novel A House Near Luccoli, DM Denton has written a story that from the beginning captures the reader by the heartstrings. I am not going to write a synopsis of the book, other reviewers have done that. What carried me away is that from the very beginning I was carried away by both
Ina Schroders-Zeeders
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The historic novel “ A House Near Luccoli “ by Diane M Denton invites us to be witness of the last days in the life of the composer Alessandro Stradella, who really lived in the 17th century. Diane vividly describes how the fictive Donatella plays an important part in those last moments. The story, romantic and entertaining, historical and interesting, is not only a fantastic way to learn more about Stradella, or Italy in the 17th century, but also a great novel, making you want to know what hap ...more
Martin Shone
Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Open these pages as you would a door into 17th century Genoa and read, taste, hear & feel the intrigue the intimacy, the "d'Amore". Wander through this brief moment in Italian Baroque musical history and let the author and Alessandro Stradella, Donatella, and a whole host of wonderful characters give you the "spirit of Carnevale". ...more
D.M. Denton
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This review is by D. Bennison of Bennison Books

From the opening lines, this beautifully written historical novel effortlessly transports the reader into the very real world of the `forgotten' 17th century composer, Stradella, and his relationship with the vividly imagined fictional protagonist, Donatella.

In turns moving and exhilarating, sad and joyous, the author moves dexterously from scene to scene: from exquisitely rendered intimate and searching conversations between Stradella and Donatella
Meg - A Bookish Affair
3.5 stars. "A House Near Luccoli" is a historical-fiction story of composer, Alessandro Stradella, living in 17th century Italy. While the story is told in third person, it centers on Donatella, a young woman who has been wronged many times in her life, who begins working for Stradella. Stradella is a little known figure of his time but he has a very interesting story, which makes it especially sad that so much of his life has been forgotten.

I was really fascinated by this story. One of my favo
Consuelo Murgia
Jul 24, 2013 rated it liked it
My reasons for reading this book: a love story and an Italian historical setting.
Mia Redgrave
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DM Denton is a native of Western New York. She finds her voice in poetry and prose, in silence and retreat, in truth and imagination. Through observation and study, inspired by music, art, nature and the contradictions of the creative spirit, she loves to wander into the past to discover stories of interest and meaning for the present, writing from her love of language and the belief that what is ...more

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