A suspenseful, transporting literary thriller about a British novelist who heads to Venice after a public breakdown … It’s 1966 and Frankie Croy needs a break.
Having achieved success with her debut bestseller, she’s been trying desperately to live up to the high expectations of her editor and fans, only to fall short with each new book. When she receives a possible career-ending review and then has a very public breakdown, she retreats to her friend’s vacant palazzo in Venice in the hopes the new setting will rejuvenate her creativity and inspire her writing. But she finds that she’s just as stuck. And then she meets a fellow British expat, a precocious young fan named Gilly who is eager to befriend her favorite author at all costs. An aspiring writer, Gilly worms herself into Frankie’s Venetian life and the two begin an uneasy companionship. Frankie is skeptical of someone so relentlessly chipper, and Gilly tells stories that seem too good to be true, and in fact some of them are. This complicated web of desperate friendship, half-truths, and white lies–all set against a once-in-a-generation storm that inundates Venice and leaves it flooded–will lead Frankie to make a choice that is impossible to undo.