The Lion's Mouth
Joan McGrath is a Toronto Board of Education library consultant.
The Lion’s Mouth in Venice was the aperture through which anonymous accusations could be deposited. Those whose names entered that mouth often vanished without a trace.
In this complex story Bianca, now Canadian though Venetian-born, writes of her beloved cousin Marco, whose life in Venice is disintegrating just as is his glorious but decaying city. Her narrative leads the reader on the tangled trail of two lives that cross and re-cross, with dire effect.
Marco, an architect, is the father of a child who will never grow up, who can never be whole. His marriage has proven unequal to the strain and heartbreak of the child’s lifelong tragedy; his health is undermined, and now, suddenly, he who is a determined pacifist is unwillingly drawn into a web of intrigue leading to a political assassination. He cannot hope for a solution; for him there can be no happy ending. In this finely told story a precise and delicate stylist creates an unforgettable portrait of a city and a man shadowed by despair.