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The Venetian Mask

By Rosalind Laker

Enduring friendships and long-held vendettas come alive against the splendour and decadence of eighteenth-century Venice.

In 1775 Venice-known as ‘the brothel of Europe’-the tradition of mask-wearing has allowed debauchery to flourish. But Marietta and Elena, two dear friends at the Ospedale della Pietà, a world-famous orphanage and music school for girls, know little of that milieu-until they come of age.

Elena is forced to wed the head of the Celano clan, while Marietta marries Domenico Torrisi, whose family vendetta with the Celanos is centuries old. Tradition dictates that the friends should never speak again, but their bond is too strong. As the French Revolution unsettles all of Europe, Elena’s husband frames Domenico and he becomes a political prisoner. Marietta and Elena plot to save him, but can they save their own lives?

Embodying the glitter and the treachery of the city it portrays, The Venetian Mask will keep you turning pages long into the night.

Rosalind Laker is the pen name of Barbara Ovstedal, who also wrote under the pseudonyms Barbara Paul and Barbara Douglas. Her many books include The Sugar Pavilion and To Dance with Kings and they have been translated into over twenty languages.

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