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Een schitterend gebrek

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  8,937 ratings  ·  431 reviews
In zijn memoires vermeldt Casanova terloops dat Lucia een van de weinige vrouwen is die hij ooit onrecht heeft aangedaan. Maar hoe? Wat is er werkelijk gebeurd? Waarom deed Lucia afstand van haar geluk? "Een schitterend gebrek" is haar verhaal, het verslag van een uitzonderlijk leven. ...more
Paperback, 239 pages
Published 2006 by De Arbeiderspers (first published 2003)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I took with skepticism a book of Casanova's first love Lucia, thinking that it would be easy or foolish read. But I was pleasantly surprised...
This is a moving novel about enduring love, mystique, self-sacrifice, deception, heartbreak, humiliation, about woman who struggle between emotion and reason, sense and instinct, story of innocence and experience. Presented from Lucia's perspective as a legacy to her unborn child, to know what a woman is capable of to survive in the cruel world and to sac
Jan 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
Nope, it just won’t work between me and Japin. This book seems to give a brilliant portrait of the 18th century, revolving round the intriguing character of Casanova. In addition, there's a tragic romantic story which results in some nice encounters and dialogues, and is related to all kinds of philosophical reflections. What more could one want? Answer: some consistency and credibility. Because that is really missing in this novel. Main character Lucia is drifting along regions and social backg ...more
Andrew Reeves
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like all great books, In Lucia's Eyes shares a moral lesson. How do we approach/react to love in an unmerciful world. But more than that, Arthur Japin has crafted a protagonist that seeks to answer a poignant question: do we yield to our emotions, or allow reason to be the driving force behind our decisions? In matters of love, Lucia chose the latter, convinced that the high road, the one she thought spared her lover the most pain, was the right decision to make.

For this reader, "In Lucia's Eyes
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This was definitely one of the best Dutch books I've ever read!

Based on a true story, this book tells us about Lucia, the woman who did Giacomo Casanova wrong, or so he believes.
Throughout the book, you'll find out what Lucia's real story is - one that differs from what Giacomo has always believed.

As someone who doesn't usually like historical novels, it took me by surprise how much I enjoyed it - mainly the first part of the book. I liked how the p
Apr 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of historical fiction
My previous read (The House at Riverton) was a good premise moderately executed, while this book is beautifully executed and thought provoking. After ordering In Lucia's Eyes online, I was somewhat concerned to receive it and see that it was a translation from the original in Dutch. While it took a little while to get into this book, I pretty easily became accustomed to the language and the narrator's present day narrative alongside her looks back to her youth. It is not what I would describe as ...more
Jan 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The translation into English is great. One of our best Dutch writers imo. We also had a wonderful book club discussion.
Jun 17, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One star... I don't like giving book 1 star but I just couldn't push myself to give this book anything more. I know this is supposed to be a bestseller and numerous of friends recommend the book to me. This book is historical fiction, with is really my cup of tea.
But this story just didn't do it for me. It could have been nice, because the actually story on itself is really interesting. The first love of Casanova and how her life was after she left him. But it was just one boring story, with to
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Because of the writing style it took me a while to really get into the story, but once I did, I thought Lucia's life was beautifully described. While Lucia did not always make the right choices, she did not seem foolish or annoying; she was relatable and I loved learning more about her life. Too often I find that characters seem to lose all their sense of self worth when they fall in love and it is treated as being 'romantic'. I loved that, while Lucia loved deeply, she still remained a strong w ...more
Jan 01, 2021 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
In Lucia’s Eyes is based on the brief mention of the woman Lucia in the famous Casanova’s diaries, who he names as his first love. He tells of their meeting and their love, of her betrayal, and of how he eventually found her later in life in a brothel in Amsterdam, describing Lucia as having become “not only downright ugly, but also disgusting”. Arthur Japin tells Lucia’s side of the story – a young Italian servant girl who fell in love with Casanova at age fourteen, only to be horribly disfig ...more
May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not a book everyone will enjoy. Its antecedents are definitely in some of the Romantic tendencies of Europe in the 1800s as those countries fought to move into the Enlightenment. Lucia's training itself addresses the tension between the unschooled, artless flourish of emotion and the cold logic of philosophical exploration. That theme carries through the whole book and could turn off anyone not drawn to those debates. But for those who are, the lush setting, ranging from Italy through mo ...more
Nele Rottiers
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
All-time favourite!
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-read
Actual rating: 3.50
Samir Rawas Sarayji
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fiction, other-lit
A well-paced, time-period novel following the heroine Lucia and her struggles. By becoming ill from the pox and surviving she is permanently scarred and hideous to look at. In a time when women were prized for their beauty and youth and not much else really, this turn of fate is basically a death sentence to anything resembling a possible normal life. This, then, is her story. Nothing normal about it. While Lucia can be considered a tragic figure, Japin instead shows us a woman who uses her wits ...more
I've always felt you should read a book in its original language if you can. This is why I abruptly stopped reading Dutch books when I was 15 and only read English, starting with Harry Potter. However, after having completed a BA in English literature, I do feel that I've neglected the literature of fatherland. Arthur Japin's Een schitterend gebrek, or In Lucia's Eyes, is, therefore, the first work of fiction written in Dutch I have touched in over seven years!

In the English speaking world, rea
I wouldn’t describe ‘Een schitterend gebrek’ (In Lucia’s Eyes) as an easy read, but it's certainly a book worth reading!

After someone read parts of the book to me years ago (very romantic :) ) I wanted to read it myself. I started reading but my study load (maybe combined with the ‘slow’ start of the book some reviewers talk about) caused me to put it aside and I sort of forgot about it. In the back of my mind I still thought: someday I have to finish that book… and then I saw the (Dutch) audio
Bookmarks Magazine

Japin (The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi) offers an intriguing story about love, deceit, betrayal, identity, and self-sacrifice. Presented from Lucia's perspective, the story rests on one detail from Casanova's Histoire de ma vie but makes good use of its larger context. Critics agree that Japin's rich historical material, including Lucia's involvement in the era's intellectual, artistic, and philosophical currents, makes the 18th century come alive. They disagree, however, about Lucia: Is she a fl

Dec 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This novel is not something I usually read, but THIS IS PHENOMENAL. First of all, it's beautifully written. I adore Japin's writing style. It goes so well with the time and setting and it's almost poetry.
And the story...It's wonderful. I know, it's sad and almost depressing at times. But just the way you see the world through Lucia's eyes and experience the way of her world is so fascinating. Her reason behind all of her actions, especially her leaving Giacomo Casanova (yes, THE Casanova) makes
Apr 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
Read all my reviews on

I didn't know there was an English translation of this book until I just came across it. The original title is Een Schitterend Gebrek. It was one of the books I read for Dutch literature, a while ago, and I remember there were a lot of people who liked it, but I didn't really.

In Lucia's Eyes tells the story of Casanova's first love, Lucia. She runs away from her fiancé after a disease leaves her face scarred. Years later she finds herse
Jan 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Again an excellent book by an excellent author (read in the original Dutch version). I just love the way Arthur Japin develops the caracters in his novels. The farther you are into the story, the more interesting they become. This book about the first love of Cassanova, won the Libris literature prize for a reason. I like better his latest novel (de Overgave; not yet available in English), which I think might be his masterpiece. Having that said, I do hope Japin isn't done with his writing and h ...more
A tragic love story but an interesting read! A historical fiction based on the memoirs of Casanova in which he mentions about the only two women he ever fell in love with.

Set in 18th century Amsterdam and Venice, the book talks about the internal & external struggles of Lucia, who loses her face to Smallpox and gets disfigured. The handicap has a profound impact on her personality and life. Her transformation from a spirited, happy-go-lucky girl child to an ugly and insecure downtrodden sounds
Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think it was a very nice book. I find it hard, sometimes, to find a book written by a dutch writer that I like. But I truly did like this one. I think Arthur Japin is a good writer. He can write beautiful sentences, but in a way that it never feels forced. And what I liked a lot about this book, was the constand jumping through the time. For me, it worked very well, I got more and more curious to why, for example, the two lovers didn't end up together. I am definitly going to read more books b ...more
Loredana (Bookinista08)
I'll only say a few words about this book: it was worth my time, it moved me deeply, I will always remember it, it's readable and very enticing. At least for a woman. :) Great read, definitely recommended! ...more
Jan 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Amazing book! A beautiful dance of historical fact, eye-opening philosophy, and artful fiction. If you enjoy the careful dance of seduction and the complexities of love, you must read this!
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
Sep 09, 2016 rated it did not like it
This was one of the worst books I had to read for dutch literature, I found it mainly boring and slow building.
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I must say I am impresed. The book is finished and the whole story is well described.
Feb 24, 2021 rated it it was ok
fck i hate the ending
Valentia D'Ambroise
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
first off all fuck you; second off all you pretentious piece of shit.
Alright then.
I forgot her name... Casanova's first and ever truest love (gagh)
to be honest, I should have know what I was getting. The writer is excellent by using poetic phrasing with simple words. However, me no likey. I don't know actually what it is, but i feel condescended. I'm not five good sir. I know my shit about the Enlightenment and The Romantique (It looks prettier this way :( sorry I really wanted to)

Soooo he
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love - A Novel about (not so) Casanova Through The Eyes of Lucia
We are unhappy because we think that love is something we require from someone else. Our salvation depends on a simple gesture that is nonetheless the most difficult act we can perform: We must give away the thing we most long for. Not to receive but to give.

There was a moment of hesitation when I challenged myself to read In Lucia's Eyes. Historical novels is not part of my reading habits (and I will never touched self-help books
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  Mateo Askaripour is a Brooklyn-based writer whose bestselling debut novel, Black Buck, was published in January. It's been a Read with Jenna...
51 likes · 6 comments
“Als ik één ding kan is het liefhebben. Dat lijkt niet veel bijzonders, maar ik ben er trots op.
Ik heb het geleerd zoals een zwerfhond leert zwemmen: omdat hij met de rest van de worp in een jutezak werd gepropt en in een snelstromende rivier is geworpen.
Die ene die het tegen alle verwachtingen in gered heeft, dat ben ik.
Met in mijn oren nog het gejank van degenen die het niet haalden, moest ik leren ergens van te houden.
Ik ben niet onder gegaan.
Ik heb de kant bereikt.
Ik heb lief.
Andere mensen dragen hun verdriet in hun hart.
Ongezien holt dat hen vanbinnen uit. Het is mijn redding geweest dat ik mijn verdriet aan de buitenkant draag, waar het niemand kan ontgaan.
“That's the only thing that matters, honey, for someone to see more in you than you thought there was to see.” 38 likes
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