Published by Fireship Press in 2012
Set in 1613 Venice, Thirst: A Novel is a story of family secrets, racial purity, religion and raw power. This is the first novel for the author, Mary Donnarumma Sharnick. As a first novel goes, this one has potential, but also has issues, which is not uncommon.
The scenes throughout the book are very vivid and easy to imagine with fully fleshed out characters (which is usually the hard part for first-time novelists) but there just needs to be more detail to tie the scenes together to make the story flow, more explanation of Venetian society and the way it worked so that the story moves more smoothly and the reader can fully appreciate what everyone is doing, why it matters and the risks that certain characters take when challenging the powers-that-be.
This is a very female oriented work with lots of details about menstruation, fears of first-time sex, rape, child rape and a very detailed childbirth scene with lots of details about blood and excrement flowing out along with the baby and the placenta being fed to a dog. I think every male character was a rapist, got raped or was cheating on his spouse with a prostitute with the exception of a priest who was asexual and acted as a surrogate mom for an orphan was was born because of a rape. As such, I felt that the book was talking past me more often than it was speaking to me.
I rate this book 3 stars out of 5.
This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Thirst: A Novel
Reviewed on November 11, 2012