I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours for review consideration, opinions expressed are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you.The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story by Megan Chance
Publication Date: Sept. 22, 2015
Setting: Europe > Italy
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5* – I LOVED IT! The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story by Megan Chance was a fast paced, beautifully written, eerily good ghost story that exceeded my expectations.
“After she nearly ruins her family with a terrible misstep, Elena Spira is sent to Venice to escape disgrace and to atone by caring for the ailing Samuel Farber. But the crumbling and decaying Ca’ Basilio palazzo, where Samuel is ensconced, holds tragic secrets, and little does Elena know how profoundly they will impact her. Soon she begins to sense that she is being watched by something. And when Samuel begins to have hallucinations that make him violent and unpredictable, she can’t deny she’s in mortal danger.
Then impoverished nobleman Nero Basilio, Samuel’s closest friend and the owner of the palazzo, arrives. Elena finds herself entangled with both men in a world where the past seeps into the present and nothing is as it seems. As Elena struggles to discover the haunting truth before it destroys her, a dark force seems to hold Samuel and the Basilio in thrall—is it madness, or something more sinister?”
The Visitant by Megan Chance was a perfect book to start my fall reading and to get me in the mood for Halloween. I normally only read during the day on Remicade infusion days but I was having trouble reading at night out of pure exhaustion these last few weeks. So I sat down to read a little bit on Monday and did not want to put it down. I had to go pick up the kids from school with just 3% left in the book, I was wrangling them home as fast as I could so I could finish!
Right away I was drawn into the story as Elena realizes the Venice of her dreams is a far cry from the Venice where she’s come to work. As Elena approaches the crumbling Basilio estate and the mistress of the house, she feels as if she’s being watched and the stage is set for a spectacular, eerily good ghost story that exceeded my expectations. I can’t reveal much more about the plot than the synopsis without fear of giving anything away.
We know The Visitant is a ghost story, it says that right on the cover. Author Megan Chance writes beautifully and deeply about the grief of losing a loved one and develops believable, conflicted characters who are seemingly different but fundamentally the same. I loved Megan’s writing style, her descriptions of Venice particularly wonderful and the plot progressing quickly and cleverly. The book never dragged for me and though a ghost story, it wasn’t too horrific that it gave me nightmares, just enough creepiness for me to enjoy it and keep flying through the pages.
The Visitant reminded me of a mix of Me Before You and A Pattern of Lies. As in Me Before You, we hear nurse Elena’s point of view as she’s forced into a difficult situation with her rich patient, Samuel, who has lost hope and has no intention of cooperating with Elena on her mission. We see Elena and Samuel’s relationship evolve in unexpected and beautiful ways. As in Pattern of Lies, we get a good sense in this book about what challenges nurses and patients faced at the turn of the 20th century. Patients with illnesses that were not fully understood could be put in asylums. The patients’ desperation, anger and loss of hope knowing they cannot be cured of their physical ailments but also knowing they do not belong in an asylum for the rest of their lives. The nurses and doctors just as trapped by the unfortunate situation and lack of knowledge as their patients. As a patient of chronic illness, this really made me realize how lucky I am for modern medicine and that the perception of illness has changed. We still have a way to go towards understanding of invisible illnesses like my Rheumatoid Arthritis, but we’re on our way.
The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story by Megan Chance was a fast paced, beautifully written, eerily good ghost story that exceeded my expectations. Keep reading so you can enter to win your own copy below!
Venice, Italy during a time when Venice was poor and run down but still beautiful. This book qualifies towards my Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge goals.
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