The Garden of Angels by David Hewson

A rich and powerful story, haunting and mesmerisingly told

Format: Hardback

Published by: Severn House.

Firstly I would like to thank the author for sending me a review copy.


The Palazzo Colombian is home to the Uccello family: Paolo is dying, however, he has secrets he has waited his whole life to share

He entrusts his grandson Nico to read his ageing manuscripts, Nico finds himself transported back to 1943 when Venice was an occupied city under its Nazi overlords. As Nico reads on he soon wonders if he ever knew his beloved grandfather at all.

The Uccello family are renowned weavers, Paolos parents have both been killed during a bombing raid, with just one employee and no time they have one last job to complete. One day Paolo makes a decision which could change his life forever he agrees to hide a Jewish Brother and Sister who are being hunted by the Germans.

My Thoughts:

What follows is a story rich in narrative, deeply evocative, you can feel the tension and drama as it unfolds on the pages. The story is told from the viewpoint of 1943 and the present, a story which leave Nico desperate to know more but uncertain as to whether he should.

We read and learn about the life’s of the Venetians under the German occupancy and the struggles endured to stay alive even if that mean collaborating. The author has created characters which you can instantly engage with you can feel their pain and turmoil. There are times when the book is brutally stark in dealing with the realities and times of complete and unflinching tenderness.

As Paolo hides Vanni and Mika Artom, he comes to question himself and must face up to his inner feelings. As the story moves forward and the Jewish community fight and fear for their survival, those who are helping the Germans have to face their own realities..

David Hewson has created a powerful story which keeps the reader hooked as you are drawn into and read Paolos story in realtime with Nico. This is one of those books where you need to read every word and thanks to the writing one where you can feel yourself transported back to 1943.

The book is sprinkled with twists that will completely keep you guessing, the ending sublime.

It is clear as you read the story (and if you have read some of the authors previous books), his love and understanding for Venice and Italy shines throughout. A story that will stay with you for sometime

It is difficult to find the works and do justice to such a thought provoking read.

This is not your average thriller but a poignant reminder of the past and how decisions then can impact the life’s of future generations, but one i would definitely recommend you read.

I have long been a fan of the authors previous books and this rates highly.


David Hewson is the author of the highly acclaimed Nic Costa and Pieter Vos series as well as numerous stand alone novels, including Carnival of the Dead

Categories 2021 Reviews

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