About The Little Venice Bookshop:
A bundle of mysterious letters. A trip to Venice. A journey she’ll never forget.
When Luna loses her beloved mother, she’s bereft: her mother was her only family, and without her Luna feels rootless. Then the chance discovery of a collection of letters in her mother’s belongings sends her on an unexpected journey.
Following a clue in the letters, Luna packs her bags and heads to Venice, to a gorgeous but faded bookshop overlooking the canals, hoping to uncover the truth about her mother’s mysterious past.
Will Luna find the answers she’s looking for – and finally find the place she belongs?
We came to the full moon party because of my past. Gigi insists something magical will happen because I was named Luna, in ode to this place. I was supposed to be open to some sign, some flashing light showing me the way. Giving me some answers. It wasn’t quite the chilled-out peace party I’d been expecting though, from my mom’s descriptions of it back in the day.
It could be folklore – so much is where my mom is concerned – but, the story goes, Mom celebrated here one magical night back in 1990. This was before it was the spectacle it is these days. Back then it was a small beach party, the sandy shore full of hippies dancing under the moonlight.
I envision my mom back then, with her long dirty-blonde hair, bikini top and denim cut-offs, swaying to the music. That night she said she fell in love with a guy who had a lyrical voice and a sensual smile. When she awoke at dawn the next day, he was gone, and she thought she dreamed the whole experience. Until a couple of months later when she found out she was pregnant with me. Her full moon baby, Luna.
I’ve always wondered about the man who fathered me. I know I’m like him physically: dark hair, dark eyes, olive skin. The way Mom described my birth was so magical that I grew up believing I was a gift from the universe sent when she needed me most.
Besides, I always told myself I didn’t need a father. I had all the moms a kid could want – but the truth is, I’ve always felt like a puzzle with one piece missing.
A wave of homesickness crashes over me. That invisible thread that binds mother to daughter can only stretch so far in this big wide world. I haven’t seen her since that hurried visit home, although we talk on the phone at least once a week and send funny cat memes and sunset pictures almost every day.
It’s a sign. I need to stay for a bit in her tiny off-grid home, in the chilled-out bohemian enclave that suits her artistic temperament. A modern-day commune of sorts. A great big patch of land, filled with her friends, living peacefully. But I know she’ll hate me hovering over her. Hate that I’ve cut my Thailand trip short on her account. But sometimes you just have to go with your instinct. And my instinct tells me it’s time to go back.
It’ll be bittersweet to leave Thailand so soon – the place my life began. A tropical paradise where the only definite is the sun will rise and set. I suppose it was inevitable that I’d return here. And probably will time and again. There are still so many unanswered questions.
While my mom and I are close, she’s a vault at times. Why did we leave the commune here? The romantic in me wonders if she stayed for as long as she could, hoping the man who made her a mother would return. On that subject, she only has brief details.
Over time, my imagination has run wild. Would I recognise my father if I stumbled upon him? Do we share the same smile, the same mannerisms?
The sensible part of me knows he’s not here. Knows I won’t brush shoulders with a man in the street and recognise my features on his. He was a tourist – the chances are less than slim – but what if he’s been searching for her too?
Wishful thinking is my specialty.
This is why I roam. Searching for that elusive utopia. Wanting answers I’ll never find. Looking for a backpacker from more than thirty-three years ago who remains nameless. Faceless. Mom says it was meant to be. A divine birth.
So, I wander, trying to find my place in the world. It’s why I stick to busy cities. I can get lost in the crowd. Be invisible among so many faces while I look for his.
About the Author:
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