Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Visconti House (fiction)

Out of place. The house is out of place in their small Australian town, and Laura is, too.

Since her dad's writing can be sent from anyplace, the family moved away from the small house in the big city to this huge old house in the small town, so her mum would have more room to create her enormous sculptures.

Of course Laura explores the house's many rooms, with their fading hand-painted murals and dilapidated velvet curtains and wants to know why... why Mr. Visconti came all the way from Italy to this particular town, why he built this unusual house, why he spent his life here alone, why the cellar door is wallpapered over, why...

This debut novel by an Australian librarian is a charming story of lost loves, found friendships, and a search for understanding.

Book info: The Visconti House / Elsbeth Edgar. Candlewick, 2011. [author interview] [publisher site]

Recommendation: Laura loved the elegant old house that she and her parents moved into, but she hated being different from everyone at school. Who else’s mother makes huge sculptures in the dining room? What other dad stays up all night writing?

Exploring the falling-apart rooms and imagining their former beauty is interesting, and soon Laura is trying to find out more about why there's an Italianate villa in their dusty Australian town. Mrs. Murphy said that Mr. Visconti built it for his bride-to-be who never got to live in it.

When Leon moved in with his grandmother and joined Laura’s junior high class, he ignored the teasing better than she could. As she tracks down Mr. Visconti’s history, Leon’s viewpoints lead to other clues.

Can they discover why Mr. Visconti’s beloved never got to live in the beautiful house? Where is the statue which once stood in its gardens? And why did Leon suddenly move here, anyway?

Mystery, misunderstandings, and maybe a ghost! Plan on visiting The Visconti House with Laura and Leon soon! (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)


  1. oohh--I loved this one myself! So glad to see it on your list!

  2. Lovely! This is the only book by this author that I've found in the US - any others available in Australia?


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