The Waters of Eternal Youth (Guido Brunetti Series #25)

The Waters of Eternal Youth (Guido Brunetti Series #25)

4.3 10
by Donna Leon
     
 

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In Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti series, the Venetian inspector has been called on to investigate many things, from shocking to petty crimes. But in The Waters of Eternal Youth, the 25th novel in this celebrated series, Brunetti finds himself drawn into a case that may not be a case at all.

Fifteen years ago, a teenage girl fell into a

Overview

In Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti series, the Venetian inspector has been called on to investigate many things, from shocking to petty crimes. But in The Waters of Eternal Youth, the 25th novel in this celebrated series, Brunetti finds himself drawn into a case that may not be a case at all.

Fifteen years ago, a teenage girl fell into a canal late at night. Unable to swim, she went under and started to drown, only surviving thanks to a nearby man, an alcoholic, who heard her splashes and pulled her out, though not before she suffered irreparable brain damage that left her in a state of permanent childhood, unable to learn or mature. The drunk man claimed he saw her thrown into the canal by another man, but the following day he couldn’t remember a thing.

Now, at a fundraising dinner for a Venetian charity, a wealthy and aristocratic patroness—the girl’s grandmother—asks Brunetti if he will investigate. Brunetti’s not sure what to do. If a crime was committed, it would surely have passed the statute of limitations. But out of a mixture of curiosity, pity, and a willingness to fulfill the wishes of a guilt-wracked older woman, who happens to be his mother-in-law’s best friend, he agrees.

Brunetti soon finds himself unable to let the case rest, if indeed there is a case. Awash in the rhythms and concerns of contemporary Venetian life, from historical preservation, to housing, to new waves of African migrants, and the haunting story of a woman trapped in a damaged perpetual childhood, The Waters of Eternal Youth is another wonderful addition to this series.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
Donna Leon's Venetian mysteries never disappoint, calling up the romantic sights and sounds of La Serenissima even as they acquaint us with the practical matters that concern the city's residents.
Publishers Weekly
01/25/2016
Commissario Guido Brunetti looks into a 15-year-old mystery in bestseller Leon’s poignant 25th outing for the Venetian police inspector (after 2015’s Falling in Love). Did Manuela Lando-Continui, who was almost 16, fall into a canal, as the contemporary police investigation concluded, or was she pushed? She sustained permanent brain damage and has no recollection of the incident. The only witness claimed that he saw a man push her, but he was drunk and forgot his testimony the following day. Now Manuela’s elderly contessa grandmother wants to know the truth before she dies. Leon deftly builds her plot against the struggles of contemporary Venetians unable to afford housing in their beloved city and under threat from hostile immigrants. She draws Manuela and the contessa with skill and nuance, and longtime readers will enjoy insights into the past of Commissario Claudia Griffoni, the inspector’s colleague. Fans new and old should appreciate this escape into Brunetti’s elegant, sophisticated, yet troubled Venice. Agent: Susanna Bauknecht, Diogenes Verlag (Switzerland). (Mar.)
From the Publisher
Praise for The Waters of Eternal Youth:

A New York Times Bestseller
A National Indie Bestseller

“Donna Leon’s Venetian mysteries never disappoint, calling up the romantic sights and sounds of La Serenissima even as they acquaint us with the practical matters that concern the city’s residents . . . The Waters of Eternal Youth . . . [is] a bittersweet story that makes us appreciate Brunetti’s philosophical take on the indignities, insanities, and cruelties of life.”—Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

“Leon’s writing satisfies, much like the dishes that come out of Paola’s kitchen . . . Her characters are reassuringly familiar and likable . . . Like the great 20th-century crime writer Raymond Chandler . . . Leon treats murder as a simple (if evil) thing.”Philadelphia Inquirer

The Waters of Eternal Youth, the 25th Brunetti mystery, is every bit as smart and intriguing as the first book was a quarter-century ago . . . It’s no wonder this series is so popular with tourists that it’s inspired its own guided tours of [Venice].”Christian Science Monitor

“Leon’s latest novel marks the 25th anniversary of her wonderfully atmospheric series . . . A sweet poignancy flows through Leon’s narrative like the faint smell of chrysanthemums bordering the ancient palazzos.”Star Tribune

“Donna Leon’s 25th Guido Brunetti mystery, The Waters of Eternal Youth, is cause for celebration and a great read, both for travelers and those staying at home. Leon brilliantly exposes the corrupt world of Venice and how its past and present are often linked . . . Leon knows Venice and consistently proves that life in La Serenissima is far more complex, troubled, and dangerous than tourists flocking to St. Mark’s Piazza can ever imagine.”Bay Area Reporter

The Waters of Eternal Youth . . . is not only Leon’s 25th installment in her long-running series and one of the best, but also potentially one of 2016’s standout novels . . . The Waters of Eternal Youth has the most satisfying ending of any book I’ve read in recent memory . . . you are going to have to read this amazing novel for yourself . . . you’ll be glad you did.”Bookreporter

“A new Brunetti adventure is always worth celebrating . . . the subtlety and sensitivity with which he approaches his work and his life . . . are on full view here . . . In a marvelous and moving last scene, we glimpse a moment of almost transcendent beauty that makes us realize again how important this series is to our reading lives.”Booklist (starred review)

“Bestseller Leon’s poignant 25th outing for the Venetian police inspector . . . Leon deftly builds her plot against the struggles of contemporary Venetians . . . She draws Manuela and the contessa with skill and nuance, and longtime readers will enjoy insights into the past of Commissario Claudia Griffoni, the inspector’s colleague. Fans new and old should appreciate this escape into Brunetti’s elegant, sophisticated, yet troubled Venice.”Publishers Weekly

“Venice might be sinking into the sea, but as long as Commissario Guido Brunetti is around, there will be someone to make sure the city doesn’t become a total swamp of cynicism and corruption . . . The usual suspects are all here . . . [and] the pleasures of spending time with Brunetti and the gang have never been greater.”Kirkus Reviews

“In Donna Leon’s elegant prose, the book is as engaging as its predecessors, but filled with much more than the usual pain.”Toronto Star

“As Brunetti brings past secrets to light, readers can again let the usual pleasures of Leon’s series—a classy old-school detective, the rhythms of contemporary Venetian life, a familiar supporting cast—wash over them.”Sydney Morning Herald

“The latest entry in one of the best long-running series in mystery fiction is just as good as one expects . . . This series is . . . superb, with its wonderful evocation of Venice’s streets and piazzas, food, and the wonderful moods of an old, old world confronting a very new one.”Globe and Mail (Canada)

“[Leon] demonstrates—even after such an astonishing number of novels—that she’s still at the top of her game . . . If this series has somehow escaped your notice, definitely put it on your to-read list.”—NJ.com

Library Journal
★ 02/01/2016
A new literary mystery by Leon is cause for celebration, and her latest superb novel (after By Its Cover and Falling in Love) takes the series featuring contemplative Venetian Police Commissario Guido Brunetti to a new level. The investigation commences when Brunetti's mother-in-law invites him to dinner, and he meets a wealthy, socially prominent contessa who makes a peculiar request—namely, that Brunetti investigate the near-drowning of her granddaughter 15 years ago. The contessa insists that Manuela was terrified of water and was an intended murder victim. Moreover, the inebriated man who rescued Manuela initially claimed that he had seen another man push her into the water. While Manuela survived her submersion, she incurred severe brain damage that left her dramatically impaired. VERDICT Surprisingly, Leon has crafted a crime novel both more complex and less dark than his usual offerings. In fact, the book ends not only optimistically but affirmatively. Perfect for readers who enjoy Andrea Camilleri's Italian mysteries. [See Prepub Alert, 10/15/15.]—Lynne Maxwell, West Virginia Univ. Coll. of Law Lib., Morgantown
Kirkus Reviews
2015-12-23
Venice might be sinking into the sea, but as long as Commissario Guido Brunetti is around, there will be someone to make sure the city doesn't become a total swamp of cynicism and corruption. This is Leon's 25th book about Brunetti (Falling in Love, 2015, etc.), and the usual suspects are all here. There's Paola, Brunetti's wife, able to whip up a three-course lunch between teaching English literature and reading Henry James for fun. Their children, Raffi and Chiara, provide mealtime repartee that often leads to philosophical debate: "I wondered if it's against the law to ask people for money on the street," Chiara says one day. Brunetti's boss, the professionally dim Vice-Questore Giuseppe Patta, is once again manipulated by Brunetti, and Patta's secretary, the supersharp Signorina Elettra, as always plays the Internet like a maestro: at one point, Brunetti finds her "with both hands raised and motionless over the keyboard of her computer, a pianist about to begin the final movement of a sonata." The book begins at another glittering dinner party given by Brunetti's mother-in-law, Contessa Falier, at which he and Paola are representing ordinary Venetians while another countess, Demetriana Lando-Continui, tries to raise money from wealthy foreigners for her preservation group. Contessa Lando-Continui also wants to ask Brunetti a favor: could he please look into something that happened 15 years earlier, when her granddaughter almost drowned in a canal, suffering permanent brain damage? This gives him a chance to walk around the city, wondering how "tourists find things, with only street addresses to guide them? He didn't like this new age, much preferred having someone tell him the address he was looking for was the house with the new shutters to the right of the greengrocer opposite the flower shop that had the cacti in the window. Any Venetian would understand that." The biggest mystery is how the reader can figure out what happened so quickly, yet it takes the commissario di polizia the whole book to catch on. Still, the pleasures of spending time with Brunetti and the gang have never been greater.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802124807
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
03/08/2016
Series:
Guido Brunetti Series , #25
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
24,094
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Donna Leon is the author of the highly acclaimed, internationally bestselling Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery series. The winner of the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, among other awards, Leon has lived in Venice for thirty years and now divides her time between Venice and Switzerland.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Venice, Italy
Date of Birth:
February 28, 1942
Place of Birth:
Montclair, New Jersey
Education:
B.A., 1964; M.A. 1969; postgraduate work in English literature

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The Waters of Eternal Youth (Guido Brunetti Series #25) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
NWBookLover More than 1 year ago
I have read every book in the series and this is #25. I was not disappointed. Donna Leon writes wonderfully multi layered stories, with Venice as a living breathing character. The past at odds with the present, the pace of life in Venice - it all comes together so well. I always look forward to a visit with Guido, his family and his coworkers. This series is best read in order but they can be read as a stand alone, the reader just won't get the full flavor of Guido's Venice. Thanks to NetGalley and Atlantic Monthly Press for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am in love with Detective Brunetti. Donna Leon writes such a charming and intelligent mystery. The setting is Venice, food and the intellect of Guido Brunetti and his cohorts to find out what happened to a young girl and why she was thrown into the canal. What more could you ask? Have a glass of wine and read the book.
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Anonymous 9 months ago
Im looking for a friend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"I dunno," she snorted, chuckling