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Palace of the Drowned

by Christine Mangan

Palace of the Drowned by Christine Mangan X
Palace of the Drowned by Christine Mangan
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  • Publishes in USA 
    Jun 1, 2021
    320 pages
    Genre: Novels

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There are currently 25 reader reviews for Palace of the Drowned
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Susan T. (Bahama, NC)

Well written and enjoyable
A slightly unstable author retreats to Venice following a very public scene in London. From there, the sinking city around her, the appearance of a supposed friend, the nonappearance of her actual friend who has chosen being with her husband over her, the mysterious, ghost-like neighbor and even a visit to the opera all foreshadow the inevitable ending. I enjoyed the connections to what was happening around Frankie to what was happening to Frankie. I thought the book was well written and enjoyable and recommend it.
Charlene D. (Saugus, MA)

Palace of the Drowned
A gothic thriller where place and weather are characters in the story. The book caught my interest in the first few pages and I finished it two days after I started it. It had just enough suspense to hold my interest - it wasn't overdone. I wasn't quite sure about the characters and I liked that about the book. It wasn't predictable. There was a familiar theme but then again it was different. There was a twist at the end and it didn't end the way I expected. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes this genre.
M K. (Minneapolis, MN)

Palace of the Drowned
This is a gripping novel that teases with knowing what happened but waiting to see if anyone else knows and what the consequences might be. British author Frankie Croy's first novel is met with unabashed success and her lucrative book contract for subsequent novels is not met with similar praise; and her latest novel has one scathing review left unsigned. This review magnifies what Frankie already feels, and like a sliver underneath a toenail, it is painful but without an easy remedy to extract the lingering after effects of this searing criticism.

She retreats to Venice, attempting to find the fire that catapulted her initial rise in the publishing world. While there, she is accosted by a young woman, Gilly, who says that she knows her, or her mother, who is an editor, knows her. This young woman is also a writer and wants to share her manuscript with Frankie, whom she has idolized since her rise in the literary world. Frankie reads it and finds it very modern without much of a narrative, and not wanting to crush this young woman's aspirations, says that it's not really her kind of book. Gilly says, however, that an editor has seen some of it and is going to publish it. And then, life gets very interesting.

From early on in the novel there is an underlying level of tension only increasing as the book progresses to the point where you can't put the book down until you finish it,
Power Reviewer
Shirley L. (Norco, LA)

Not a Page Turning Thriller- Better Than That
The back cover of this novel describes it as a fast paced thriller. It is not. Shortly after beginning this story I got impatient. Nothing was happening. I would have rated it only 2 or maybe 3 stars. Thrillers are action packed, fast paced. Rather this book was a beautiful character study of a very damaged protagonist in a incredibly gorgeously described setting. Multiple sentences were meant to be savored not rushed through. As I read more, I grew to love this story and yes the pace did pick up. This is not a quick snack of fast paced junk thrills but rather a delicious experience to be immersed in fully. I highly recommend.
Wendy R. (Pinehurst, NC)

Is this a Friendship or Obsession?
An engrossing dark novel with some intriguing twists. Frankie travels to Venice after a very personal and public break down. She is trying to make sense of past events and pull her life together. Then Gilly appears and starts to involve herself in Frankie's life. The weather also inserts itself as major flooding in the city. All work together to set the tone of the book. Frankie is drowning in her mental well being, Is Gilly the life vest she needs? Will Frankie ever pull herself together or will her life continue to spiral? Is Gilly being truthful and helping or is she lying and manipulating? Can the cost of friendship be deadly? There were many times I would put the book down and say "What would I do?" A very good gothic thriller that twists and turns primarily in waterlogged Venice. I enjoy Christine Mangan's writing. If you liked "Tangerine" you will want to read "Palace of the Drowned".
Carmel B. (The Villages, FL)

Deluge of Delusion
Mangan's depiction of the unraveling of a mind is brilliant. The reader craves to the see the sunshine. but the flood waters keep rising, in Venice, in Rome, in London – and in the protagonist's (or is it the antagonist's) psyche. Readers are forced to remeasure how independence, perseverance, and self-control can be detriments to our well being and that of others. Is it possible to drown in our delusions about ourselves and those who love us? Gilly, Jack and Leonard are Frankie's gondolas of refuge, but she trudges along, ignoring even her own security whistle.
Norma R. (Secaucus, NJ)

Palace of the Drowned
This novel is both a character study and a dark tale. Story is set in 1966 and the central character is writer Frankie Croy. Locations switch between London and Venice. Frankie is in Venice recovering from a very public meltdown and severe writer's block. She meets an enigmatic young woman named Gilly. Gilly is hiding something and becomes obsessed with Frankie. The Venice location becomes an integral part of the story. Venice is like another character. Suspense builds throughout the book. Important events take place during the historic Venice flood of 1966. I recommend this book if you want to experience life in Venice and like suspense.
Bev C. (Latrobe, PA)

Palace of the Drowned
On November 4, 1966, an abnormal occurrence of high tides, rain-swollen rivers and winds caused the historic Venice flood of 1966.

Frankie Croy has been attempting to reconcile fan and editor demands after a very successful first novel, years ago.

There is a public breakdown following a bitterly severe review of her recent work.
Her retreat is a friend's vacant palazzo in Venice.

"The name of the palazzo seems to portend something dark and ominous ... Palazzo d'Affagata (Palace of the Drowned)." (Christine Mangan, author).

An intrusive but somehow captivating young admirer (Gilly) insinuates herself into Frankie's daily life.

Their tale is a dark, haunting chronicle of lies, revelations and questions.
The backdrop of this monumental event increased the intensity of this read.
The book is not for everyone but certainly should have a definite following.

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