I'm very pleased to be hosting one of the spots on the blog tour for Dreaming Of Venice. This review is written with thanks to Faye Rogers and Canelo for allowing me to take part, and for my copy of the book.
Penny Lane is an aspiring artist, working in a cafe to make ends meet whilst she tries to sell her work. One day, a woman comes into Penny's work place, having tracked her down following her heroic act of saving a child from an oncoming train the day before. She has an extraordinary job offer for Penny, which will give her the opportunity to meet people and travel the world, particularly to Venice - a destination she's always dreamed of visiting. Is this the moment when Penny's life will start to change for the better?
On his Goodreads page, Williams states that he likes to write androgynously because 65% of books are read by women. Upon reading Dreaming Of Venice, I was surprised to discover that Williams is male, particularly in view of his ability to write such convincing female characters in a novel where the protagonists are almost exclusively women. At first, I found it difficult to warm to Penny, but as the novel progressed, my connection with her character improved. The same can be said of Olivia, and I really enjoyed the way in which the relationship between them developed. I recognised elements of my own friendships in their relationship, and this helped me to relate to them.
Penny's new position allows her to travel throughout Europe, and as the title suggests, Dreaming Of Venice is heavily focused on her adventures in Venice. Williams' descriptions of the locations in which the novel is set are very vivid, so that although I have never been to Venice myself, I was able to transport myself there and picture everything. When I finished reading, I wanted to pack my bags straight away!
The plot of Dreaming Of Venice is a slow burner. At the beginning, I found it difficult to determine where the novel was going, but as Williams gave us a deeper insight into the characters and their lives, I found it easier to place myself in Penny's situation. Penny's love life adds a "will they, won't they" element to the plot, which kept me reading as I wanted to find out what happened.
Ultimately, Dreaming Of Venice is easy to read, and offered me something more lighthearted than my usual choice, and I thoroughly enjoyed whisking myself away to Venice when my real life was hectic!
Dreaming Of Venice is available from Amazon.
Don't forget to visit the other stops on the Dreaming Of Venice blog tour.