A descendant of Giovanni Lomazzo brings his art treatise to a book restorer, who discovers the palimpsest, Giovanni’s journal of his illicit love affair. DeRoux beautifully portrays the artist’s impossible romance amidst the terror of the Ottoman Empire. The attraction between between Giovanni’s descendant and the book restorer pales by comparison, and is not as interesting. Perhaps this is because it’s too familiar, or it may be that the mores of the time are more mundane, a simple married man and single woman. In any case, this historical fiction is worth it for Giovanni’s tragic romance with the courtesan of Venice’s powerful military commander. I was fortunate to receive a digital copy from the publisher Ballantine Books through NetGalley.