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The Girl from Venice

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  5,951 ratings  ·  865 reviews
The highly anticipated new standalone novel from Martin Cruz Smith, whom The Washington Post has declared “that uncommon phenomenon: a popular and well-regarded crime novelist who is also a writer of real distinction,” The Girl from Venice is a suspenseful World War II love story set against the beauty, mystery, and danger of occupied Venice.

Venice, 1945. The war may
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Simon Schuster
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Jane I like the fact that some have compared this book to Casablanca with its combination of war and romance. There is plenty of romance, set in a very…moreI like the fact that some have compared this book to Casablanca with its combination of war and romance. There is plenty of romance, set in a very interesting historical period and in a romantic war setting. I rated this book five stars, not because it is great literature, but because it is plain old fun to read. The characters are engaging and are right out of a movie.
I don't think you will be disappointed. I would categorize it as historical fiction/suspense/romance. Good with popcorn, and the ending was satisfyingly appropriate for a war story.(less)
Linda It has some violence because it is a war novel, a very small amount of sex, and one of the characters commits adultery, but nothing is graphic. There…moreIt has some violence because it is a war novel, a very small amount of sex, and one of the characters commits adultery, but nothing is graphic. There is nothing that hasn't been in YA books. An older teen could handle this.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.35  · 
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 ·  5,951 ratings  ·  865 reviews


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Paromjit
This is an engaging historical thriller set in Venice and Salo in Italy in 1945. This is an Italy in turmoil, overflowing with German troops, some looking for vengeance as it becomes clear that Hitler has lost power, a confined Mussolini trying to escape with his mistress. and Italian families having divided loyalties and the uncertainties that come with new realities. Cenzo, a fisherman, has conflicting relationships with his family, his mother is trying to hitch him up with Celestina, Hugo, hi ...more
Chelsea Humphrey
3.5 STARS

Venice, 1945. The war may be waning, but the city known as La Serenissima is still occupied and the people of Italy fear the power of the Third Reich. One night, under a canopy of stars, a fisherman named Cenzo comes across a young woman’s body floating in the lagoon and soon discovers that she is still alive and in trouble.

Born to a wealthy Jewish family, Giulia is on the run from the SS. Cenzo chooses to protect Giulia rather than hand her over to the Nazis. This act of/>
Venice,
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Michael
An entertaining historical thriller with the atmospherics of a romance in war time that gives it that “Casablanca” flavor. Cenzo is a thirty-something fisherman who saves an aristocratic Jewish teen, Guilia, from the Nazis and tries to keep her safe in an environment in which virtually no one can be trusted. The sense of the world going to hell in a handbasket and death looming behind every door is often the backdrop for romance, but the bonds in this case feel more like a case of creating a pro ...more
Kemper
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a free ARC from NetGalley of this for review.

A book with the word Girl in the title? I’ve never seen that before….*cough*

In the last days of World War II in Europe an Italian fisherman named Cenzo hauls in what he thinks is the body of a dead young woman. Only she’s just playing possum, and Cenzo quickly finds out that Giulia is Jewish and on the run from Nazis who just killed her family.

Cenzo hides Giulia, but it turns out that she has a secret that someone is desperate to
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Diane S ☔
Oct 17, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 Three brothers, Hugo whose death provides fodder later on, Giorgio who becomes an actor, the lion of Italy and later Mussolini's propaganda chief and Cenzio, who wants only to be a fisherman on his island Pellistrina , plying his trade on the Ventian canals. On one such trip he discovers a young girl floating in the canal, a Jewish girl who has escaped the death of her father and others. Cenzio's life as a peaceful fisherman will come to an abrupt end.

I found this an engaging rea
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Katie
I’m thankful to this novel for proving that I haven’t grown so cynical, after an acrimonious divorce this year, that I can’t still enjoy a good love story well told and that I can still enjoy lighter fiction without the dreaded literary snob within rising up and telling me off for wasting my reading time.

This is a WW2 story set in Venice. A fisherman out on his boat at night discovers the body of a young female in the water. At first he assumes she’s dead. However she isn’t dead; she’s a Jewess
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Susan Johnson
I don't know how to say this any other way but I loved this book. Cenzo Vianello is one of my favorite characters in a book ever. He is exactly what he is, a fisherman in the lagoons near Venice, Italy. I had no idea that they fished there. I always just pictured it was full of gondolas but apparently before and during WWII, they did.

Besides being a fisherman he is the brother of Italy's famous and handsome actor and Mussolini spokesman, Giorgio. Giorgio had seduced Cenzo's wife and swept her
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Liz
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
2.5 stars

It's been awhile since I've read a book by Martin Cruz Smith. I enjoyed Gorky Park and a few others in the Arkady Renko series but then didn't care for one and gave up on him. So I was pleased that netgalley provided me with an advance copy of The Girl From Venice so I could give him another chance.

Cruz Smith’s writing is sparse. He tells the story without much in the way of embellishment. The story takes place at the end of WII in Italy. The Germans are desperate and no on
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Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
The Girl From Venice- 2.5 stars...

When I opted to read The Girl From Venice I was hoping for an engaging war story rich in the Venetian atmosphere but instead of feeling completely immersed in the story and time period, I felt more like an outsider looking in. If you've ever been with a group of people that are talking about something that happened when you weren't there, so you don't quite get what the fuss is about, then you'll understand how I felt about the author's writing. It seemed like we were only given sc
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Lewis Weinstein
I re-read this novel as a book club read ... the beginning is superb: two well-developed characters and a fascinating plot opening. There is reason to expect a wonderful love story set against the end of WWII in Italy. However, after 75 or so pages, the book falls apart. The plot expands to include uninteresting and confusing side stories. The girl, who is the glue, disappears. By the time she returns at the end, it is too late to save the story, and the ending is weak anyway. This was a great o ...more
Erin
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

The phrase “highly anticipated” should set off warning bells, but I ignored my misgivings and jumped at Martin Cruz Smith’s The Girl from Venice. I’m a WWII junkie and have absolutely no restraint when considering literature set against the conflict, but looking back, I wish I’d have listened to my gut and passed on the narrative.

Please excuse my assessment, but Smith’s character development felt remarkably thin. As a reader, I couldn’t connec
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Bam cooks the books ;-)
*3.5 stars. The Girl from Venice is an engaging thriller and love story set in Venice and its countryside waterways in the waning days of WWII. Cenzo Vianello, a young fisherman of Salo, is fishing at night when he discovers the body of a young girl floating in the water. Thinking she is dead, he pulls the body aboard the Fatima and covers her with a tarp. Soon afterward, a German gunboat appears and soldiers board his boat, searching for something...the girl? She has disappeared so she must be alive ...more
Brenda
Innocenzo (Cenzo) Vianello was a fisherman; he called himself just a “simple fisherman” who worked the canals at night and slept during the day. The little shack he called home was perched on the edge of the river next to where he moored his fishing vessel. When he lost his brother Hugo to the war, their father was so traumatised that his own death came soon afterwards. His other brother Giorgio became an actor but the bad blood between Cenzo and Giorgio was known throughout the community. Cenzo ...more
Cindy Burnett
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
3.5 stars

The Girl from Venice takes place in Italy towards the end of World War II. Martin Cruz Smith starts the book as the war is almost at a close and chose occupied Venice as the setting. As I was starting this book, I realized that I have read a ton of World War II fiction, but not a single book that took place in Italy during the war. Occupied Venice is a fascinating place with a number of warring factions, which at times I found a little hard to keep straight. While the Italia
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Erika
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I just wanted to lose myself in a story, and this was the perfect fit. I'm not sure why but it reminded me a little of Beautiful Ruins with the way it meandered around the different characters without a real beginning or end but just sort of took a vacation and landed plop in the middle of their lives. I loved it.
Jaksen
Dec 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway; thank you Goodreads.

Sort of disappointing overall...

The story of Cenzo, a fisherman from Venice, who helps a Jewish girl, Giulia, at the end of WWII. She escapes - when her family is betrayed and arrested - by diving into the lagoon where Cenzo is fishing and what happens after...

It's too contrived, too confusing and seriously, every character in this book has the same 'voice' or personality. They're wise-cracking smart
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Thomas
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cruz Smith fans
Recommended to Thomas by: NetGalley
I enjoyed this stand alone by the author. I have read ten of his books and enjoyed all of them. This book starts with Cenzo, a simple fisherman in Venice, who finds the body of a young woman in a lagoon where he is fishing in the dark. Quote: "Fisherman were nocturnal creatures who slept by day and fished by night." He brings the girl aboard his boat, but then a German gunboat comes to him and boards his boat. They search his boat, but don't find the girl. She is alive and slipped into the water ...more
Bandit
Sep 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the latest stand alone by the ever prolific Martin Cruz Smith. The author is primarily known for his series and I'm not a fan of series as such, so I haven't read him until now. This book, though, looked interesting enough and was available on Netgalley, so why not. Set in the last days of WWII in Italy, it's a love story of impossible odds between a fisherman from a small village and a young Jewish woman he rescues. It starts off relatively small, but later as the protagonist, Cenzo, go ...more
Barbara
After reading this book I understand why it isn't more popular. Set in Venice during the last days of World War II, it is the story of Cenzo, a fisherman, who rescues Giula, who has escaped the Nazis. The character Cenzo is a bit of a schemer and jokester. There are scant descriptions of Venice, and I prefer stories of wartime that are serious. This was "almost good" but not quite.
Jeanette
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Easy read with direct and clear style in linear chronological fashion.

This was, for me, a tone that is rarely approached in war time sagas any longer. Where once it was far more often in print and even more so in dozens of movies from different war periods probed into this lighter mode; a kind of darkest intrigue and blight where those near can only appreciate wit and humor in the minutes and hours of wait. (Think a more dramatic but MASH like, the old TV series, type of humor.) It's
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Alex Cantone
Venice, 1945. The Third Reich is facing defeat yet the city is still under German occupation. A fisherman finds a young woman from a wealthy Jewish family hiding in the reeds of the lagoon and shelters her from the Wehrmacht, knowing he is risking death from both the occupiers and Fascist black shirts. Initially under Il Duce, the Jews avoided persecution by being Italians first, but now Mussolini is raiding the banks to save his own skin.

Readers expecting gondolas and famous landmarks wil
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Keith Currie
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the best Martin Cruz Smith I have read in some time. Set in Venice and Salo right at the end of WW2 the plot centres on a runaway young woman of Jewish background and a Venetian fisherman who becomes her protector. This is a slightly bizarre novel, reflecting the strange and unreal behaviour of the surviving Italian Fascists in Salo and the Germans facing imminent defeat. The plot itself does not quite hang together, but the atmosphere created and the spare, sardonic dialogue are excelle ...more
Steven Z.
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For those that are familiar with the work of Martin Cruz Smith the author of GORKY PARK, STALIN’S GHOST, TATIANA, among others, his latest effort, THE GIRL FROM VENICE should prove very satisfying. The novel is centered in Venice in the small fishing village of Pellestrina. One evening during the spring, 1945, Innocenzo Vianello, a poor fisherman is watching allied planes pass overhead on their way to rain havoc on Turin, Milan, or Verona, as he tries to secure his catch, when he notices a body ...more
Margaret Sankey
Jun 28, 2016 rated it liked it
I've been reading Arkady Renko books for 25 years now, and Smith has pretty much aged Arkady to the end of his plausibility. This new novel introduces a variation on that theme--Cenzo is a disgruntled veteran of Mussolini's African campaign, supporting his widowed mother and sister in law by accommodating himself to the fascist bullies and partisan black market of the Venetian lagoon. His discovery of an escaped Jewish woman, and his unexplained decision to assist her, as well as the fact that h ...more
Kathleen
3.5 ⭐.

Review to follow.
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Kathy
Jul 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I have read by this author, and I plan to read more of his work. I did enjoy the story. I believe this is also my first World War II fiction book that has comic treatment. It has many elements of fable mixed with history mixed with romance that somehow mostly worked. Still, it was hard for me to digest jokes about SS men. There was a complex structure of republicans, fascists, Nazis, and those who tried to stay under the radar as the war was coming to a close and Venice wa ...more
Trevor
Jul 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, netgalley
This was on OK story, nothing special.

Having previously read Martin Cruz Smith's Gorky Park, which I thoroughly enjoyed, this latest novel was a disappointment. Set at the end of WWII in Venice and northern Italy, the story is basic, with a few twist, but nothing gripping. In fact some of the story is a bit far fetched, especially the film star brothers tale.

Having said that though, the sections of the novel set out in the lagoon, the fishing, and the descriptions of the Lido and the
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Laura Lee
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was sent this first reads book in exchange for an honest opinion.

I have never read this author before. In fact, when I entered the giveaway I thought he was someone else. I am so glad I got the chance to read this book. I loved it.

Italy, near the end of WWII. A poor young fisherman is trying to make a living as best he can with the war raging. One night he is out on the water and catches a girl instead of a fish!

The characters were wonderfully drawn. I loved Cenzo. He is a very likeable cha
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Truman32
Aug 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I read this last year. I kept meaning to write a review, but never really felt inspired. And so The Girl From Venice sat, staring at me every time I opened the “My Books” section of the Goodreads webpage. At first Martin Cruz Smith’s harmless little book would gaze at me eagerly waiting for my review. C’mon, daddy, she’d say, write me up a good one! But as the weeks turned into months, and the months into years my Girl From Venice’s eyes turned bitter and accusatory. When she thought I couldn’t hear, she whispered insu ...more
John
Aug 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Once again he takes small liberties inside a historical picture, quite like Havana Bay and December 6. The story moves along at a quick clip. Only a couple moments requiring a moderate suspension of disbelief. Time period is ending WWII in upper Italy and Venice. On the edges of the war theater. As usual the striking points in his writing are the descriptions of the surrounding environs relevant to the story line. I think you would like it for a quick read as a historical travelogue.
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Play Book Tag: The Girl from Venice by Martin Cruz Smith - 3.5 stars 2 13 Oct 11, 2017 06:08PM  

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AKA Simon Quinn, Nick Carter.

Martin Cruz Smith (born Martin William Smith), American novelist, received his BA in Creative Writing from the University of Pennsylvania in 1964. He worked as a journalist from 1965 to 1969 before turning his hand to fiction. His first mystery (Gy
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“Between the intention and the act, life was often a tale told to the deaf. •” 2 likes
“She pointed to a poster on the casino that showed a mother telling her son, “I Would Rather You Came Home a Dead Patriot Than a Live Traitor.” Maria said, “No mother on earth would say that. This worship of death is sick.” 0 likes
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