The Three-Arched Bridge – Ismail Kadare

The Three-Arched Bridge - Ismail Kadare
The Three-Arched Bridge – Ismail Kadare

Legends, history and changes from 14th century Arberia, wrought around the construction of a bridge to span the wicked waters of the Ujana, the Ujana e Keqe.

Pre trip reading, I enjoyed this far more than Ismail Kadare’s The Accident, memories of which were still rather putting me off embarking on this short novella.

The story draws on the legend of a woman being immured in the walls of Rozafa Castle in Shkodër, which is on our itinerary so I’m glad I managed to read The Three-Arched Bridge before we head off to Tirana and thence north into The Accursed Mountains.

Publisher’s page: The Three-Arched Bridge – Ismail Kadare (Translated from the Albanian by John Hodgson)

Slade House – David Mitchell

Slade House - David Mitchell
Slade House – David Mitchell

Every nine years, atemporal twins Norah and Jonah lure an engifted to Slade House and consume their soul.

Each chapter comes with its own character – from musical mother and son Rita and Nathan Bishop to Dr Iris Marinus-Ferriby, via unreconstructed Detective Inspector Gordon Edmonds, shy student Sal Timms, and her sister Freya – and brings another encounter between the two sides of the Atemporal Schism, in the ongoing battle between the two David Mitchell introduced us to in The Bone Clocks.

Publisher’s page: Slade House – David Mitchell

A Venetian Reckoning – Donna Leon

A Venetian Reckoning - Donna Leon
A Venetian Reckoning – Donna Leon

An early encounter with Guido Brunetti. Carlo Trevisan, a leading Venetian lawyer, is found murdered on a train on its return to Venice.

Things get uncomfortable at home when Brunetti learns that his teenage daughter Chiara was at school with Trevisan’s daughter, and asks her to help him find out more about the family – much to Paola’s anger.

A Venetian Reckoning – Donna Leon

Notes From An Exhibition – Patrick Gale

Notes From An Exhibition - Patrick Gale
Notes From An Exhibition – Patrick Gale

More fab fiction from Patrick Gale.

Set largely in Penzance, Notes From An Exhibition tells us about the life of modern artist Rachel Kelly, and the impact bipolar disorder has on her life, her creativity and family.

Each chapter prefaced with an information card from a posthumous exhibition of her work and belongings, it’s a beautiful novel.

As an aside, this description (page 62) particularly resonated:

“Garfield’s feelings, by contrast, were a deep, forbidding pool, dark and unfathomable, stirred by sudden currents he could not control.”

Author’s page: Notes From An Exhibition – Patrick Gale