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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Review - Whispering Bones by Rita Vetere

Title : Whispering Bones

Author: Rita Vetere

Publisher: Lyrical Press Inc.

Buy Link: Buy Whispering Bones Here!

Rating : You gotta read!

Reviewed By : Jodie Pierce

Story Blurb :

When someone dies in outrage, a curse is born. In 1576 Venice, during the second and worst outbreak of the plague, a dying child is shown no mercy. Her death spawns a curse, one which has endured for more than four centuries.In 1927, the curse manifested in acts of madness and murder in a newly constructed asylum, events which, almost a century later, have not quite been laid to rest. Now, in a rendezvous with fate, architect Anna LaServa has arrived in Venice, opening the door to the next fulfillment of the curse. She will uncover the reason behind her ultimate confrontation with the barbaric executioner whose name is... Revenge. Content warning, some scenes of violence.

Review :

This book bounces by chapter from present day Toronto, Canada, Venice, Italy, 1576, and to Poveglia Island 1927. The end of each chapter leaves you wanting more and not wanting to move to the next part of the other story. However, you become engrossed in that one and feel the same at the end of that chapter and so it progresses throughout the entire book.

This is a story predominately about a young girl named Isabella Moretti who was nine years old in 1576 during the time of the Black Plague in Italy. She lost her entire family and when they came to haul the bodies away, she was barely alive and able to tell them so. She was then taken to Poveglia Island and dumped into the mass grave there when she finally was able to muster all she had to attract their attention and beg for help. The pizzicamorti were cruel and buried her alive but not before she fed of the rush of evil from the place and put a curse on the man Tomaso and his entire family for every generation to come.

Her spirit, along with the others buried there haunted the island and anyone who came to the island. They haunted the workers who built the new hospital and even the patients that finally resided there. In 1927, Dr. Alberto Rossi came to work as the Head Surgeon but had a family on the mainland, wife Serafina, children Julia and Vittorio. He started doing lobotomies to find a cure for the Schizophrenia he thought the patients had until he started seeing the spirits. He ended up murdering patients and cremating them in the middle of the night in secret. He had started drinking and on one night abused his family. The following day, his wife found a note he left saying he was leaving them on their own and wouldn’t be back. She was relieved until a “monster” according to Julia, came in the window, sucked the blood from her brother Vittorio and then threw him out the window. The two girls moved to Canada to get a fresh start but Julia was always haunted by the “monster”. Dr. Rossi turned out to be a direct relative of Tomaso so Isabella relished in her killing of him, sucking his blood and the other spirits ate his flesh. He was pushed off the bell tower but survived so the spirits mortared him up in the bell tower behind a wall so his body would never be found.

In present day Canada, Anna LaServa visits her grandmother in the nursing home as she’s 103 years old and the only family she had left (mom committed suicide when she was 3 and father died when she was 10). Anna was raped when she was fifteen and had to give up her baby that resulted from the rape. Her grandmother had arranged the whole thing through a convent. Anna felt her whole life like she was meant to be miserable. When she grew up she became an Architect that had been hired by Paolo Falcone to come to Italy to help him build a hotel on Poveglia Island. The history of the island is unbeknownst to Anna but not to Mr. Falcone. Anna tells her grandmother of her ten day visit to the island just to get design ideas and her “Nonna” forbid her to go. Anna dismissed her and went anyway only to find out the history of the island and that Dr. Rossi was her grandfather and Nonna is Serafina according to a picture on the doctor’s desk. The spirits chased her, stalked her and thwarted her efforts to set fire to the buildings on the island. When Isabella finally came to the captured Anna, she touched her and made her relive all the murders she caused over the years down the family line, including Anna’s mother’s suicide. Isabella then jumps on Anna and starts sucking her blood and all Anna can think of is how her grandmother was right and the daughter she never knew. Isabella is excited to learn there is a daughter and plans to hunt her somehow too.

Several months later, a thirty-three year old Denise Carrington called the nursing home about a Serafina Rossi only to find out she’d passed away three weeks ago but no one was there to claim her stuff. Denise said she’d take the stuff. Denise had hired a detective to find her mother but was told by the local Luogotenente Baldacci that she’s fell off the island and drowned. A story he and Mr. Falcone had come up with when he paid Baldacci 100,000 euros to make Anna’s events at the island go away and rule her disappearance an accidental drowning. Baldacci had a sick daughter so he took the money and made the deal, one he knew he’d regret. Denise went through the things, looking at pictures and got excited about her Italian heritage. She had mentioned a European vacation only a little while ago so now she wanted to stop in Venice.

This was a fantastic book from the beginning all the way through to the end. It even had me thinking about it when I reluctantly had to put it down. The descriptive words used here really painted a vivid picture in my mind. It was almost like watching a movie play through my head as I read the story. My best recommendation is to sit down with it when you have awhile to read because it’s hard to put down!

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