Published Jan 2010
1782. Cecilia Cornaro, 13 year old daughter of a Venetian merchant family, is lured naked from her bath by a stray cat and finds herself in the arms of Casanova. Twenty-five years later Cecilia is in Albania, now a portrait painter of some renown, her fame in this area eclipsed only by her reputation as the last woman in Venice to have been loved by Casanova. Then a young poet named Byron enters her life. For Cecilia, who has blossomed under the tender, unselfish love of another man, Byron proves a rude awakening. While Casanova hid nothing from her, Byron hides everything, but she paints rich portraits of both men. This unique and extraordinary novel combines sensuous descriptions of painting with rich portraits of real people, all set against the decaying grandeur of Venice.