Carnevale - M.R. Lovric, Michelle Lovric This author writes historical fiction as it really should be written. Few authors succeed as she does. She takes all the facts of the time and people and teaches it all to the reader by adding a few fictional characters. The only fictional characters added to this novel are a cat, a gondolier, the main protagonist and her family and husband. Even the husband is a brother of a “real person”. These fictional characters are expertly woven into the real events. It is amazing how closely the author has stuck to the real events. You must be interested in knowing the factual details of the lives of Byron and Casanova. You will be given an extensive quantity of details. You must ask yourself if you will be interested in these details. That will tell you whether this book is for you or not.

There is an excellent epilogue that states yes, this was true and this and this and even this too. You will be amazed that so much of this is completely true. Through the fictional characters all the people and events are tied together. Through the fictional character we go under the skin into the minds of Byron and Casanova. I believe that what the author has “guessed at” is most probably true. The fictional elements are wonderful, but if you are not interested in learning about the real people, about life in Venice and historical events and literature of that time, then you might be bored at times.

Now for the fictional part: I loved the fictional story just as much as the history imbibed. I loved the descriptions of Venice. I loved the cat and the gondolier because they were so wise. And I like that it was a cat and only a “nobody gondolier” that were so darn smart. I loved the ending and the message it gave and what it said about each of the characters. In truth, I loved more HOW the message was fed to us than the message itself. It was the little details of how the moral was said that made my enjoyment of the book so thorough. It is not where a book goes that is that important to me, but rather how it gets to the end point. For example, I love how chocolate plays in at the end, just as much as the final moral given. And I loved the Venetian proverbs that began every chapter. And I loved Casanova, but hated Byron, although I grew to understand what drew women to him.

If I were smarter, if I had known more before starting this novel, I probably would have given it five stars. I was bored at points only due to my own ignorance. The more I read, the more I learned, and the more I enjoyed the book.

Oh, yes! The book is about love, all kinds of love. However if you want a simple love story, do not pick this.