In Lucia's Eyes
by Arthur Japin
Review by: Craig R. Stafford
You see what happens when you let someone get too close to the things you love?
Lucia is the fourteen-year old daughter of a maid who runs the manor household.
Lucia is free to discover and delight in the world around her at will, with Auntie's
(The Countess of Montereale) blessing.
The manor is visited briefly by a cousin fleeing an outbreak of smallpox. Another
young man visits as well-one Giacomo Casanova-who vows to protect Lucia's chastity
with his soul. He leaves for several months but returns to her, only to find she
has departed. Casanova continues on with his life and his conquests, but remains
haunted by Lucia-one of the few women for whom he felt something different.
Seventeen years later, Casanova encounters Lucia. Why is she permanently veiled?
Why is she working in an Amsterdam brothel? Why is she now a highly successful
courtesan? What has brought her to this point in her life?
Therein lies the beauty of the story.
We see the mid-1700s through Lucia's eyes. Much of the story is from her point
of view. It is her wonderful insights and asides on life and love, creatively
and imaginatively penned by Japin, that makes this novel such a genuine delight.
Lucia is so much more than her early encounter with Casanova. She experiences
much on her way to becoming the veiled courtesan who intrigues the older Casanova
at the opera, and her thoughts and reflections are compelling. Quickly, I marked
pages, passages and quotes from the book. These words resonated so honestly and
beautifully that I wished to revisit them again during thoughtful times.
In Lucia's Eyes is an excellent book for bath, bed or travel. It's
a true delight to enjoy and to share with your friends and loves.