This Summer’s Best Beach Reads – The Book of Human Skin by Michelle Lovric
The original TV Book Club is back, boasting a short list of authors who include a major motion picture writer and producer, Sweden’s top selling writer and a Pulitzer Prize winner.
The eight selected titles in this Summer’s series will be reviewed on a weekly basis as part of the TV Book Club’s Summer Read strand, which recommends books perfect for holiday getaways. New to this run are exclusive profile interviews with of some the world’s biggest authors including Philip Pullman, Ken Follett, Jackie Collins, Joanne Harris, Jilly Cooper and Jacqueline Wilson.
This week’s title is The Book of Human Skin by Michelle Lovric airing on Sunday 24 July
About the Book
Midday, 13th May, 1784: An earthquake in Peru tears up the white streets of Arequipa. As the dust settles, a young girl with fanaticism already branded on her face arrives at the devastated convent of Santa Catalina. At the same moment, oceans away in Venice, the infant Minguillo Fasan tears his way out of his mother’s womb. The great Palazzo Espagnol, built on Peruvian silver and New World drugs, has an heir.
Twelve years later, Venice is in Napoleon’s sights and Minguillo, who has already contrived to lose one sibling, is listening to the birth-cries of his new sister Marcella, a delicate, soft-skinned threat to his inheritance. Meanwhile, at Santa Catalina, the scarred young girl has become Sor Loreta, whose craving for sainthood is taking a decidedly sinister turn. Minguillo’s livid jealousy will condemn his sister to a series of fates as a cripple, a madwoman and a nun.
But Marcella Fasan is not quite the soft target Minguillo imagines. Aided by a loyal servant, an irascible portrait-painter, a young doctor obsessed with skin, a warhorse of a Scottish merchant and a cigar-smoking pornographer nun, Marcella pits her sense of humour, her clever pencil and her fierce heart against Minguillo’s pitiless machinations. Her journey takes her from Napoleon’s shamed Venice to the last picaresque days of colonial Peru – where the fanatical Sor Loreta has plans of her own for the young girl from Venice. Bewitching, daring, darkly humorous and alive with historical detail, The Book of Human Skin is a breathtaking story of unmitigated villainy, Holy Anorexia, quack medicine, murder, love and a very unusual form of bibliomania.
You can also catch last week’s title on repeat . The Night Road by Kristin Hannah airing on Saturday 23 July, Channel4
About the book:
Lexi and Mia are inseparable from the moment they start high school. Different in so many ways – Lexi is an orphan and lives with her aunt on a trailer park, while Mia is a golden girl blessed with a loving family, and a beautiful home. Yet they recognize something in each other which sets them apart from the crowd, and Mia comes to rely heavily on Lexi’s steadfast friendship.
Mia’s beloved, and incredibly good-looking, twin brother Zach, finds life much less complicated than his sister. Jude thought she’d never have to worry about her son, that he’d always sail through life easily achieving whatever he, and his family, wanted and expected – but then he fell in love.
The summer they graduated is a time they will always remember, and one they could never forget. It is a summer of love, best friends, shared confidences and promises. Then one moment one night changes them all forever. As hearts are broken, loyalties challenged and hopes dashed, the time has come to leave childhood behind and learn to face the future.
To find out more visit www.tvbookclub.co.uk