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The Rossetti Letter
The Rossetti Letter
Author: Christi Phillips
In this captivating debut, Christi Phillips blends fact and fiction, suspense and sensuality into a vibrant, richly imagined novel in which a modern historian uncovers a courtesan's secret role in a shocking conspiracy of seventeenth-century Venice. Claire Donovan always dreamed of visiting Venice, though not as a chaperone for a surly teenager...  more »
ISBN-13: 9781416527374
ISBN-10: 1416527370
Publication Date: 3/6/2007
Pages: 400
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 33 ratings
Publisher: Pocket
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Rossetti Letter on + 42 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
At first I was a bit lost in the 1618 story, there were lots of characters and for a while when it switched back to the historical line, the story did not seem to go together. However, this is my only critique of Phillips novel. And after a few trips back in time everything did come together very nicely.

Normally I find the historical story more intriguing but in this book I kept longing to read the present story line. This is not a romance by any means but the undertones of romantic relationships are fabulous. Also, I really liked the fact that the main character was chaperoning a typical teenager, something you dont see in these types of books.

Phillips characters are very believable and the manner she build her story keeps you enthralled, a very quick and pleasant read. I fully intend to read her next novel.
reviewed The Rossetti Letter on + 58 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I usually like these kind of story lines, but I just could not get into this book. I found the main charector predictable and unlikable for that matter. I tried really hard to finish this but I could not.
reviewed The Rossetti Letter on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I really enjoyed this novel - it was one of those that was hard to put down because I wanted to see what would happen next. Both the modern and the historical timelines painted vibrant pictures of Venice. The plot was fast moving with several twists and the ending was very nicely done.
reviewed The Rossetti Letter on + 212 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I cant quite remember when I last liked a book as much as I liked this one. It was charming, pulled me in from the start, and I find it difficult to think of anything wrong with it. In fact, my only complaint is that it ended too quickly and I wanted to see more of these characters!

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reviewed The Rossetti Letter on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was my mental break from more serious reads. The story wasnt bad at all and was a very quick read.
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reviewed The Rossetti Letter on + 3 more book reviews
I'm torn on how I felt about this book. It has, at different times, both bored and excited me. The boredom caused me to give up on the book at least three times before I finally managed to finish it. Only about half way through did the story finally click with me, and then the excitement kicked in.

This is my very favorite of historical fiction tropes: a dual story with both modern and historical timelines. Its what made me love Lauren Willig's Flower series so much and I when I read the summary of The Rossetti Letter, I expected the same. I liked the book but I wouldn't say I loved it, or would necessarily recommend it to anyone that doesn't love Italian history.

I had two major complaints with the book. The first is a personal pet peeve of mine: endless dialogue with no identifying words or background phrases. If a conversation goes two pages without a "she said" or "he replied," I get lost as to who is speaking and it pulls me out of the story. If Phillips didn't like using these, then she could have at least used some background phrases that flesh out the story a bit more. For example, there is one page in the book that is entirely dialogue back and forth between Claire and Andrew. Why not throw in a, "Claire tucked her hair behind her ear," or something that would make the conversation seem more alive than two talking heads with no background context?

The second major complaint of the book, and what caused me to put it down so many times, is that I didn't connect with any of the characters. Even after finishing the book, I don't see the point to Gwen (as a means to getting Claire to Venice, I get, but what does her story contribute?) or Giancarlo (ditto - really, he's just not necessary.) Claire comes off as whiny and immature and Andrew as stuffy and awkward. Alessandra is a particularly flat character, but Phillips explains why that is.

Eh, I don't know. I liked it, but didn't like it at the same time. Maybe someone more interested in Italian history would enjoy this more, but... *shrugs* It just wasn't for me.

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