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Een schitterend gebrek

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In zijn memoires vermeldt Casanova terloops dat Lucia een van de weinige vrouwen is die hij ooit onrecht heeft aangedaan. Maar hoe? Wat is er werkelijk gebeurd? Waarom deed Lucia afstand van haar geluk? "Een schitterend gebrek" is haar verhaal, het verslag van een uitzonderlijk leven. In zijn memoires vermeldt Casanova terloops dat Lucia een van de weinige vrouwen is die hij ooit onrecht heeft aangedaan. Maar hoe? Wat is er werkelijk gebeurd? Waarom deed Lucia afstand van haar geluk? "Een schitterend gebrek" is haar verhaal, het verslag van een uitzonderlijk leven.


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In zijn memoires vermeldt Casanova terloops dat Lucia een van de weinige vrouwen is die hij ooit onrecht heeft aangedaan. Maar hoe? Wat is er werkelijk gebeurd? Waarom deed Lucia afstand van haar geluk? "Een schitterend gebrek" is haar verhaal, het verslag van een uitzonderlijk leven. In zijn memoires vermeldt Casanova terloops dat Lucia een van de weinige vrouwen is die hij ooit onrecht heeft aangedaan. Maar hoe? Wat is er werkelijk gebeurd? Waarom deed Lucia afstand van haar geluk? "Een schitterend gebrek" is haar verhaal, het verslag van een uitzonderlijk leven.

30 review for Een schitterend gebrek

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jasminka

    I took with skepticism a book of Casanova's first love Lucia, thinking that it would be easy or foolish read. But I was pleasantly surprised... This is a moving novel about enduring love, mystique, self-sacrifice, deception, heartbreak, humiliation, about woman who struggle between emotion and reason, sense and instinct, story of innocence and experience. Presented from Lucia's perspective as a legacy to her unborn child, to know what a woman is capable of to survive in the cruel world and to sac I took with skepticism a book of Casanova's first love Lucia, thinking that it would be easy or foolish read. But I was pleasantly surprised... This is a moving novel about enduring love, mystique, self-sacrifice, deception, heartbreak, humiliation, about woman who struggle between emotion and reason, sense and instinct, story of innocence and experience. Presented from Lucia's perspective as a legacy to her unborn child, to know what a woman is capable of to survive in the cruel world and to sacrifice herself so she can save the man she loves not to marry her for obligation or pity because of her horrible disfigurement caused by smallpox, or even worse - to disgust her. And maybe it's unreal to read about (I've read somewhere) a "prostitute with a 24-karat intellect", but I really enjoy the philosophical parts, especially Lucia's conversations with Zélide, a French female archaeologist that she works for as a secretary. Very well written! Some quotes that I liked: "Other carry a sorrow in their heart. Unseen it hollows them out from within. My salvation was that I wear my sorrow on the outside, where no one can miss it.” "I hide the world. I have lowered a curtain before it. Through that haze of lace and silk it looks so much softer." "Self-delusion has the benefit of letting us believe that everything is still possible... Truth is more than the things you see; that is why its value is only relative... The only thing that can change reality is the mind. ... If one would change things, one needn’t touch them; one need only see them differently" "Reason is but the shell of consciousness, beneath which emotion is far more knowing" "If you accept others as equals, you embrace them unconditionally, now and forever. But if you let them know that you tolerate them, you suggest in the same breath that they are actually an inconvenience, like a nagging pain or an unpleasant odour you are willing to disregard." "The profound peace I feel in libraries goes beyond silence. The paper doesn't just muffle sound but stills the roar of my thoughts... [and] things written down are easier to let go of." "My love was alive, not because I was loved, but because I myself loved!"

  2. 4 out of 5

    Marc

    Nope, it just won’t work between me and Japin. This book seems to give a brilliant portrait of the 18th century, revolving round the intriguing character of Casanova. In addition, there's a tragic romantic story which results in some nice encounters and dialogues, and is related to all kinds of philosophical reflections. What more could one want? Answer: some consistency and credibility. Because that is really missing in this novel. Main character Lucia is drifting along regions and social backg Nope, it just won’t work between me and Japin. This book seems to give a brilliant portrait of the 18th century, revolving round the intriguing character of Casanova. In addition, there's a tragic romantic story which results in some nice encounters and dialogues, and is related to all kinds of philosophical reflections. What more could one want? Answer: some consistency and credibility. Because that is really missing in this novel. Main character Lucia is drifting along regions and social backgrounds, sells all sorts of wise considerations, regularly changes her opinions on life and love, and then makes the most improbable of choices. Japin has kind of made a mess of this story. In addition the tragic Lucia reminded me very much of Hella Haasse's (another Dutch writer) sequel on De Laclos’ “Dangerous Liasons” (under the name "Een gevaarlijke verhouding", I don't know if there is an English edition), a magnificent novel in which a French Marquise at the end of the 18th century takes refuge in the Netherlands, with a face disfigured by smallpox, and in which she offers very subtle reflections on love and the fate of the women. Japin still has a long way to go before he can equal this level.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Reeves

    Like all great books, In Lucia's Eyes shares a moral lesson. How do we approach/react to love in an unmerciful world. But more than that, Arthur Japin has crafted a protagonist that seeks to answer a poignant question: do we yield to our emotions, or allow reason to be the driving force behind our decisions? In matters of love, Lucia chose the latter, convinced that the high road, the one she thought spared her lover the most pain, was the right decision to make. For this reader, "In Lucia's Eyes Like all great books, In Lucia's Eyes shares a moral lesson. How do we approach/react to love in an unmerciful world. But more than that, Arthur Japin has crafted a protagonist that seeks to answer a poignant question: do we yield to our emotions, or allow reason to be the driving force behind our decisions? In matters of love, Lucia chose the latter, convinced that the high road, the one she thought spared her lover the most pain, was the right decision to make. For this reader, "In Lucia's Eyes" is much more than a love story minus the typical "happily ever after" ending. The motivation for the protagonist's actions happens to be the results of an illness she cannot control, one that ravishes her body and permanently damages her face. The veil she wears, and its connection to the author's choice of title has metaphorical significance that speaks to the heart of the story. Lucia tries to be objective, to make her decisions via a devotion to reason and logic. In the end, she realizes the only true way to live is to find the right balance between the heart, and the mind. Another concept that resonated with me was Lucia's take on love; what it is, and what it is not. One of Lucia's most poignant revelations is "We are unhappy because we think that love is something we require from someone else... We must give away the thing we most long for." This was the true "veil" through which Lucia viewed the world. Japin's novel did not end the way I thought it would. I figured Lucia and Giacomo would be reunited, that he would look past her disfigurement and love the woman she had become. Instead, what I discovered was that Lucia, in her own heart, had begun to accept the woman she had become, and that the veil she wore became her saving grace. She learned to make peace with the decisions she'd made, and discovered a strength inside herself more powerful than the love between man and woman could ever be. "In Lucia's Eyes" is a powerful story. In her own words, she is resigned to accept what she has lost, and move forward... "What I have lost is beyond my reach forever. I have no choice but to forget it. The future is not different from the past in this respect; there is nothing to be done about it but to be on our way". The author channels Lucia's voice with acute precision. Incredible how applicable fiction can be to the reality of our own lives.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gabri

    -- HIDDEN SPOILERS CONTAIN MAJOR SPOILERS! -- This was definitely one of the best Dutch books I've ever read! Based on a true story, this book tells us about Lucia, the woman who did Giacomo Casanova wrong, or so he believes. Throughout the book, you'll find out what Lucia's real story is - one that differs from what Giacomo has always believed. As someone who doesn't usually like historical novels, it took me by surprise how much I enjoyed it - mainly the first part of the book. I liked how the p -- HIDDEN SPOILERS CONTAIN MAJOR SPOILERS! -- This was definitely one of the best Dutch books I've ever read! Based on a true story, this book tells us about Lucia, the woman who did Giacomo Casanova wrong, or so he believes. Throughout the book, you'll find out what Lucia's real story is - one that differs from what Giacomo has always believed. As someone who doesn't usually like historical novels, it took me by surprise how much I enjoyed it - mainly the first part of the book. I liked how the plot didn't come too soon, and I also liked how a big part of the book takes place in Italy. (view spoiler)[Longer review: I really liked to read about Lucia's life in Pasiano, and to read how she felt like it was better for Giacomo's happiness - and therefore her happiness - to act as if she betrayed him. I liked to figure out only after a while that Giacomo was the Frenchman we read about in the very beginning, without having guessed it any sooner. Though I got that the second part revealed a lot more of Lucia's life than the first part, I preferred the first over the second. Also, I didn't like how Lucia insisted on not revealing the true story, but I guess it actually went that way in real life. I did like how turns out Lucia writes the story to her child. (hide spoiler)] Although I did not really agree with the message of the story (view spoiler)[(namely 'to give away what we desire the most') (hide spoiler)] , it was a very nice read. I'd surely recommend it to anyone who's up for a mix of mystery, history and the raw side of love and life.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    My previous read (The House at Riverton) was a good premise moderately executed, while this book is beautifully executed and thought provoking. After ordering In Lucia's Eyes online, I was somewhat concerned to receive it and see that it was a translation from the original in Dutch. While it took a little while to get into this book, I pretty easily became accustomed to the language and the narrator's present day narrative alongside her looks back to her youth. It is not what I would describe as My previous read (The House at Riverton) was a good premise moderately executed, while this book is beautifully executed and thought provoking. After ordering In Lucia's Eyes online, I was somewhat concerned to receive it and see that it was a translation from the original in Dutch. While it took a little while to get into this book, I pretty easily became accustomed to the language and the narrator's present day narrative alongside her looks back to her youth. It is not what I would describe as an easy read, but it's certainly worth reading. I particularly enjoyed Lucia's conversations and musings with her mentor and found it somewhat painful to read about the way her newfound knowledge and social skills separated her from her parents. The passage where she and her tutor discuss the value of knowledge and its worth even when it brings pain is well-written and leaves the reader asking what role knowledge plays in his/her own life. Throughout this book, Lucia muses on reason versus emotion and the mastery of mind over circumstances. The scene near the end when Lucia realizes what has brought her happiness made me think about sources of happiness now and whether I fully hold on to the happiness I have access to on a daily basis. What a good read!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Karin

    The translation into English is great. One of our best Dutch writers imo. We also had a wonderful book club discussion.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Silke

    One star... I don't like giving book 1 star but I just couldn't push myself to give this book anything more. I know this is supposed to be a bestseller and numerous of friends recommend the book to me. This book is historical fiction, with is really my cup of tea. But this story just didn't do it for me. It could have been nice, because the actually story on itself is really interesting. The first love of Casanova and how her life was after she left him. But it was just one boring story, with to One star... I don't like giving book 1 star but I just couldn't push myself to give this book anything more. I know this is supposed to be a bestseller and numerous of friends recommend the book to me. This book is historical fiction, with is really my cup of tea. But this story just didn't do it for me. It could have been nice, because the actually story on itself is really interesting. The first love of Casanova and how her life was after she left him. But it was just one boring story, with to much nonsense in between. For me there weren't enough details that mattered but there were to much details that didn't matter. Whole chapters were dedicated to stuff that didn't contribute to the storyline and that wasn't important for the final synopsis. But what really bothered me was the narrator Lucia. I just couldn't relate to her. She must have been my least favourite book heroine in the last years. I just simply couldn't stand her. I actually finished it, but I was sure glad when I turned the last page.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bregje

    Because of the writing style it took me a while to really get into the story, but once I did, I thought Lucia's life was beautifully described. While Lucia did not always make the right choices, she did not seem foolish or annoying; she was relatable and I loved learning more about her life. Too often I find that characters seem to lose all their sense of self worth when they fall in love and it is treated as being 'romantic'. I loved that, while Lucia loved deeply, she still remained a strong w Because of the writing style it took me a while to really get into the story, but once I did, I thought Lucia's life was beautifully described. While Lucia did not always make the right choices, she did not seem foolish or annoying; she was relatable and I loved learning more about her life. Too often I find that characters seem to lose all their sense of self worth when they fall in love and it is treated as being 'romantic'. I loved that, while Lucia loved deeply, she still remained a strong woman who made smart decisions regarding her own life. The novel alternates flashbacks with events in the present, which was very enjoyable and created a sense of suspense. Eventhough the novel is not very long, I felt like a lot happened and the author always seemed to stop at the right moment. I never felt like the story was long-winded and boring, but at the same time I felt like everyting that needed to be dealt with was dealt with.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bart

    Actual rating: 3.50

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Een schitterend gebrek is about a young girl, Lucia, who abandons her first love because her face is irreversibly mutilated by the smallpox. 15 Years later, she runs into Giacomo again. What I enjoyed about this book is the personal development Lucia underwent from the moment she got the pox, coming to full acceptance with its scars in the process. I particularly liked Zélide, an archeologist she assists who preaches about prioritizing intuition before reason. While the personal story of Lucia is Een schitterend gebrek is about a young girl, Lucia, who abandons her first love because her face is irreversibly mutilated by the smallpox. 15 Years later, she runs into Giacomo again. What I enjoyed about this book is the personal development Lucia underwent from the moment she got the pox, coming to full acceptance with its scars in the process. I particularly liked Zélide, an archeologist she assists who preaches about prioritizing intuition before reason. While the personal story of Lucia is the focus of the book, I found it hard to relate to its conclusion. Lucia had left her lover for fear of his resentment of her scars. When she ultimately meets him again, he indeed resents her for her scars. And while I greatly admire Lucia for being at peace with this (love is to be given, not to be had), living a life while only giving love without reciprocation it is too ideological for me. Some nice quotes "Te veel kennis over onszelf doen we op uit de blikken van anderen. Wij vertrouwen eerder op hoe wij gezien worden dan op hoe wij onszelf zien." "De rede biedt ons vele mogelijkheden tegelijk. De intuïtie kiest daaruit feilloos de beste. Wanneer je dit onthoudt kun je je niet meer vergissen en zul je altijd de juiste keuze maken.” "De levenswijsheid van een grijsaard kun je lezen uit zijn rimpels, de moed van een veldheer uit zijn verwondingen. Zo is ieder met wat hem getekend heeft getooid."

  11. 5 out of 5

    jade

    In Lucia’s Eyes is based on the brief mention of the woman Lucia in the famous Casanova’s diaries, who he names as his first love. He tells of their meeting and their love, of her betrayal, and of how he eventually found her later in life in a brothel in Amsterdam, describing Lucia as having become “not only downright ugly, but also disgusting”. Arthur Japin tells Lucia’s side of the story – a young Italian servant girl who fell in love with Casanova at age fourteen, only to be horribly disfig In Lucia’s Eyes is based on the brief mention of the woman Lucia in the famous Casanova’s diaries, who he names as his first love. He tells of their meeting and their love, of her betrayal, and of how he eventually found her later in life in a brothel in Amsterdam, describing Lucia as having become “not only downright ugly, but also disgusting”. Arthur Japin tells Lucia’s side of the story – a young Italian servant girl who fell in love with Casanova at age fourteen, only to be horribly disfigured by the pox while her lover is out of town. Ashamed, she flees without an explanation, and builds up a life of her own. This story is a beautiful tale about endurance, about strength, about the struggle between emotion and reason, and above all, what love truly means. We follow Lucia through her journey, at times unpleasant and at times beautiful, and see her grow as a woman who learns the ways of the world. It’s also a philosophical story in many ways, which comes to light especially when Lucia works as a secretary for Zélide, a female archaeologist. Together, they discuss many different subjects, from research to the meaning of life. Japin’s use of language is utterly, hauntingly beautiful, and has made him one of my favourite Dutch writers. He can wax poetic philosophy without becoming boring or without the words becoming meaningless (like the thesaurus vomiting that some authors tend to do). I can only hope that this translates well into English (or other languages), because the Dutch version is a true joy to read and immerse yourself in. The original title is Een schitterend gebrek, which roughly translates to “A splendid/beautiful fault/defect”. Lucia’s story isn’t a sappy or foolish story of love, but rather how she’s transformed by both love and life, and learns to find her own strength. Lucia often ponders about the differences between reason and emotion, and her own personal struggle with it. Casanova’s presence in her tale is dim, only tangible at the very beginning and at the end – and the way Lucia deals with him once she discovers he is in Amsterdam is fantastic. She has grown beyond him into something bigger, something larger, and the poor fool doesn’t even realise it. For her, Casanova becomes an afterthought to her own life. It’s a beautiful story that I would recommend to anyone, especially people just discovering Dutch literature. However, if you don’t really like books that are about someone’s journey through life – an older Lucia looks back on her life and describes how everything happened – then this probably isn’t entirely your cup of tea. For me, though, it’s become an all-time favourite that I’ve reread plenty of times, and even got signed by Japin himself.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tonya

    This is not a book everyone will enjoy. Its antecedents are definitely in some of the Romantic tendencies of Europe in the 1800s as those countries fought to move into the Enlightenment. Lucia's training itself addresses the tension between the unschooled, artless flourish of emotion and the cold logic of philosophical exploration. That theme carries through the whole book and could turn off anyone not drawn to those debates. But for those who are, the lush setting, ranging from Italy through mo This is not a book everyone will enjoy. Its antecedents are definitely in some of the Romantic tendencies of Europe in the 1800s as those countries fought to move into the Enlightenment. Lucia's training itself addresses the tension between the unschooled, artless flourish of emotion and the cold logic of philosophical exploration. That theme carries through the whole book and could turn off anyone not drawn to those debates. But for those who are, the lush setting, ranging from Italy through most of Europe from a female's perspective, contributes as much as the philosophizing to a lasting and worthwhile impression of the work--and a visceral understanding of the importance of emotion even in the face of so much logic.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nele Rottiers

    All-time favourite!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Samir Rawas Sarayji

    A well-paced, time-period novel following the heroine Lucia and her struggles. By becoming ill from the pox and surviving she is permanently scarred and hideous to look at. In a time when women were prized for their beauty and youth and not much else really, this turn of fate is basically a death sentence to anything resembling a possible normal life. This, then, is her story. Nothing normal about it. While Lucia can be considered a tragic figure, Japin instead shows us a woman who uses her wits A well-paced, time-period novel following the heroine Lucia and her struggles. By becoming ill from the pox and surviving she is permanently scarred and hideous to look at. In a time when women were prized for their beauty and youth and not much else really, this turn of fate is basically a death sentence to anything resembling a possible normal life. This, then, is her story. Nothing normal about it. While Lucia can be considered a tragic figure, Japin instead shows us a woman who uses her wits and improves herself at every possible opportunity to come out stronger, and more importantly, to grasp the reins of her own destiny. Nothing stops Lucia from using her brains, not the small pox, not prison, not prostitution, nothing. It is this intrinsic drive to survive as best as she can regardless of the circumstances that makes her especially special. The setting is well described and the pacing of the novel is perfect. The dialogue is strong and the secondary characters are interesting. The ending is quite fitting which for me is an important aspect of a work of fiction.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Gitta

    I've always felt you should read a book in its original language if you can. This is why I abruptly stopped reading Dutch books when I was 15 and only read English, starting with Harry Potter. However, after having completed a BA in English literature, I do feel that I've neglected the literature of fatherland. Arthur Japin's Een schitterend gebrek, or In Lucia's Eyes, is, therefore, the first work of fiction written in Dutch I have touched in over seven years! In the English speaking world, rea I've always felt you should read a book in its original language if you can. This is why I abruptly stopped reading Dutch books when I was 15 and only read English, starting with Harry Potter. However, after having completed a BA in English literature, I do feel that I've neglected the literature of fatherland. Arthur Japin's Een schitterend gebrek, or In Lucia's Eyes, is, therefore, the first work of fiction written in Dutch I have touched in over seven years! In the English speaking world, readers are used to reading 18th and 19th century works of fiction and they are more acquainted with the vocabulary used by authors such as Dickens and Austen. However, in the Netherlands (and possibly Belgium), our classics are less popular and we are therefore not necessarily familiar with the archaic language Japin employs. What comes across in the beginning as replacing all the words of Germanic origin with their Latinate synonyms in an attempt to enrich the Dutch language, eventually embellishes the scene Japin is trying to portray. His attempt to mimic the language used in the higher social milieus in 18th-century Italy, France and Holland and the entire book embraces the Enlightenment idea of knowledge and science. Moreover, the Latinate diction is more closely related to Italian, which contains many Latinisms to this day. This romance novel is somewhat unusual in the sense that the romance genre is often synonymous to the so called chick-lit. The latter is filled with soliloquies about whether or not the lover's relationship is the right thing to do, a breakup and more drama (the typical YA romance). In Lucia's Eyes, however, contains very little of that. It also isn't a romance like those written by Austen, the Brontë sisters or Dickens. The character of Lucia is very rational and Japin does not engage her in many sentimental and romantic scenes. The story is mostly sad and lacks an cliché ending any Hollywood producer or chick-lit-author would certainly have used. Instead, Lucia comes out as more memorable, respectable and stronger than the book's most famous character: Giacomo Casanova.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Arda

    I wouldn’t describe ‘Een schitterend gebrek’ (In Lucia’s Eyes) as an easy read, but it's certainly a book worth reading! After someone read parts of the book to me years ago (very romantic :) ) I wanted to read it myself. I started reading but my study load (maybe combined with the ‘slow’ start of the book some reviewers talk about) caused me to put it aside and I sort of forgot about it. In the back of my mind I still thought: someday I have to finish that book… and then I saw the (Dutch) audio I wouldn’t describe ‘Een schitterend gebrek’ (In Lucia’s Eyes) as an easy read, but it's certainly a book worth reading! After someone read parts of the book to me years ago (very romantic :) ) I wanted to read it myself. I started reading but my study load (maybe combined with the ‘slow’ start of the book some reviewers talk about) caused me to put it aside and I sort of forgot about it. In the back of my mind I still thought: someday I have to finish that book… and then I saw the (Dutch) audio book edition, read by the author himself, and decided finally finish it and allow him read the book to me. When I started listening I had to get used to the male reading voice combined with the female narrative but after a while I got used to it. Arthur Japin’s voice is actually pretty nice to listen to. He reads it very well although sometimes I got the feeling they recorded it in one take since there are some weird pauses in the middle of sentences (maybe the end of a page?). During the first part of the book I recognised a lot of what I read myself years ago but I discovered listening to the story being read does add another, valuable, dimension! Especially since the writing is beautiful, almost poetic and words are not seldom unusual or classical, hearing it instead of reading it let me more space to really experience it and I think that made the book (and the way it’s written) a lot more accessible. ‘Een schitterend gebrek (In Lucia’s Eyes) tells the life story of a strong, proud woman with a life full of love, heartbreak, friendship, self-sacrifice and humiliation and her struggle between emotion and reason.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bookmarks Magazine

    Japin (The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi) offers an intriguing story about love, deceit, betrayal, identity, and self-sacrifice. Presented from Lucia's perspective, the story rests on one detail from Casanova's Histoire de ma vie but makes good use of its larger context. Critics agree that Japin's rich historical material, including Lucia's involvement in the era's intellectual, artistic, and philosophical currents, makes the 18th century come alive. They disagree, however, about Lucia: Is she a fl Japin (The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi) offers an intriguing story about love, deceit, betrayal, identity, and self-sacrifice. Presented from Lucia's perspective, the story rests on one detail from Casanova's Histoire de ma vie but makes good use of its larger context. Critics agree that Japin's rich historical material, including Lucia's involvement in the era's intellectual, artistic, and philosophical currents, makes the 18th century come alive. They disagree, however, about Lucia: Is she a flesh-and-blood woman or cardboard cutout? In pitting reason against emotion, Japin also creates a heavy-handed morality play. It's "high-brow chick lit in Masterpiece Theatre drag," says Newsday__but in the end, the book is also a compelling piece of historical fiction.This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Britt

    This novel is not something I usually read, but THIS IS PHENOMENAL. First of all, it's beautifully written. I adore Japin's writing style. It goes so well with the time and setting and it's almost poetry. And the story...It's wonderful. I know, it's sad and almost depressing at times. But just the way you see the world through Lucia's eyes and experience the way of her world is so fascinating. Her reason behind all of her actions, especially her leaving Giacomo Casanova (yes, THE Casanova) makes This novel is not something I usually read, but THIS IS PHENOMENAL. First of all, it's beautifully written. I adore Japin's writing style. It goes so well with the time and setting and it's almost poetry. And the story...It's wonderful. I know, it's sad and almost depressing at times. But just the way you see the world through Lucia's eyes and experience the way of her world is so fascinating. Her reason behind all of her actions, especially her leaving Giacomo Casanova (yes, THE Casanova) makes you think about your own choices in life and happiness in general. Her story is intriguing; how Lucia hides behind her veil and not only uses this to hide her damaged face but, in my opinion, also uses it to keep the harsh world at a distance. I read it in Dutch, but luckily it's also available in English as "In Lucia's eyes". So it's available for EVERYBODY, who speaks English or Dutch *winky face*. YAY! This novel is a recommendation for anyone who is interested in historical fiction.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marjolein (UrlPhantomhive)

    Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com I didn't know there was an English translation of this book until I just came across it. The original title is Een Schitterend Gebrek. It was one of the books I read for Dutch literature, a while ago, and I remember there were a lot of people who liked it, but I didn't really. In Lucia's Eyes tells the story of Casanova's first love, Lucia. She runs away from her fiancé after a disease leaves her face scarred. Years later she finds herse Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com I didn't know there was an English translation of this book until I just came across it. The original title is Een Schitterend Gebrek. It was one of the books I read for Dutch literature, a while ago, and I remember there were a lot of people who liked it, but I didn't really. In Lucia's Eyes tells the story of Casanova's first love, Lucia. She runs away from her fiancé after a disease leaves her face scarred. Years later she finds herself in Amsterdam. Like I said, it didn't work for me. I thought the story was too slow and I didn't like Lucia, the main character. It is a shame, really, because when I see the author on television I always feel like I should read more of his books, but when I then think of this book I don't really want to any more. I think it just wasn't for me.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amaya

    Again an excellent book by an excellent author (read in the original Dutch version). I just love the way Arthur Japin develops the caracters in his novels. The farther you are into the story, the more interesting they become. This book about the first love of Cassanova, won the Libris literature prize for a reason. I like better his latest novel (de Overgave; not yet available in English), which I think might be his masterpiece. Having that said, I do hope Japin isn't done with his writing and h Again an excellent book by an excellent author (read in the original Dutch version). I just love the way Arthur Japin develops the caracters in his novels. The farther you are into the story, the more interesting they become. This book about the first love of Cassanova, won the Libris literature prize for a reason. I like better his latest novel (de Overgave; not yet available in English), which I think might be his masterpiece. Having that said, I do hope Japin isn't done with his writing and hopefully he'll surprise us soon with yet another astonishing story. This is the kind of author that makes me LOVE reading.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Vaishali

    A tragic love story but an interesting read! A historical fiction based on the memoirs of Casanova in which he mentions about the only two women he ever fell in love with. Set in 18th century Amsterdam and Venice, the book talks about the internal & external struggles of Lucia, who loses her face to Smallpox and gets disfigured. The handicap has a profound impact on her personality and life. Her transformation from a spirited, happy-go-lucky girl child to an ugly and insecure downtrodden sounds A tragic love story but an interesting read! A historical fiction based on the memoirs of Casanova in which he mentions about the only two women he ever fell in love with. Set in 18th century Amsterdam and Venice, the book talks about the internal & external struggles of Lucia, who loses her face to Smallpox and gets disfigured. The handicap has a profound impact on her personality and life. Her transformation from a spirited, happy-go-lucky girl child to an ugly and insecure downtrodden sounds dreadfully fateful. The behaviourally analytical writing style is quite insightful of the times that were, and especially the condition of women in the society.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Roos

    I think it was a very nice book. I find it hard, sometimes, to find a book written by a dutch writer that I like. But I truly did like this one. I think Arthur Japin is a good writer. He can write beautiful sentences, but in a way that it never feels forced. And what I liked a lot about this book, was the constand jumping through the time. For me, it worked very well, I got more and more curious to why, for example, the two lovers didn't end up together. I am definitly going to read more books b I think it was a very nice book. I find it hard, sometimes, to find a book written by a dutch writer that I like. But I truly did like this one. I think Arthur Japin is a good writer. He can write beautiful sentences, but in a way that it never feels forced. And what I liked a lot about this book, was the constand jumping through the time. For me, it worked very well, I got more and more curious to why, for example, the two lovers didn't end up together. I am definitly going to read more books by this writer.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Loredana (Bookinista08)

    I'll only say a few words about this book: it was worth my time, it moved me deeply, I will always remember it, it's readable and very enticing. At least for a woman. :) Great read, definitely recommended! I'll only say a few words about this book: it was worth my time, it moved me deeply, I will always remember it, it's readable and very enticing. At least for a woman. :) Great read, definitely recommended!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    Amazing book! A beautiful dance of historical fact, eye-opening philosophy, and artful fiction. If you enjoy the careful dance of seduction and the complexities of love, you must read this!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hellen

    3.5 stars

  26. 5 out of 5

    Evi

    This was one of the worst books I had to read for dutch literature, I found it mainly boring and slow building.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lyublina

    I must say I am impresed. The book is finished and the whole story is well described.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Valentia D'Ambroise

    first off all fuck you; second off all you pretentious piece of shit. Alright then. ... I forgot her name... Casanova's first and ever truest love (gagh) to be honest, I should have know what I was getting. The writer is excellent by using poetic phrasing with simple words. However, me no likey. I don't know actually what it is, but i feel condescended. I'm not five good sir. I know my shit about the Enlightenment and The Romantique (It looks prettier this way :( sorry I really wanted to) Soooo he first off all fuck you; second off all you pretentious piece of shit. Alright then. ... I forgot her name... Casanova's first and ever truest love (gagh) to be honest, I should have know what I was getting. The writer is excellent by using poetic phrasing with simple words. However, me no likey. I don't know actually what it is, but i feel condescended. I'm not five good sir. I know my shit about the Enlightenment and The Romantique (It looks prettier this way :( sorry I really wanted to) Soooo here it is. the main character is a drama queen. The boy loves you for who you are. The presentation of the time period went fantastic; and I know you know your shit when you write because you write historical romance religiously. Which is why we love and adore you and you are the apple of our eye. the poet and the dreamer every tragic teenager desires. But "No Touchy my Philosophy" this is were it started to annoy me. She had to choose between heart and head like it was something brand new. Yes; Enlightenment VS. Romantique and the end of 1700 beginning of 1800 and so on and in between much have been the most extreme period in which you were faced with this problem; But YOUR A GIRL how is it every time these girls fight there time period. I want to see someone submit to it and work the system. Then again; You go out and hooker around (go you BTW), after you've seen the world with this weirdly generous lady? go be a academic or a wife or a feminist or a nurse in an hospital or whatever; You're too clever for "My life is so so hard; poor baby me. Than sex for money with the mystique of a thin piece of cloth for my eyes; is the only option *snik snik*". You're beautiful and every fucking one in your time suffered from diseases. It left scares with everyone. You freaking sacrificial lam (UGH!!!) You gave up God right? Right? Then why the fuck are you pretending like "Save myself before I'll save the rest" is a bad fucking thing?! (In retrospect; nowadays there are still a lot of people who do this; so point taken. Where was I? right, me being a pretentious piece of shit: Dear Japin, you missed the mark a couple of times when you tried to describe her struggle with the ideologies and philosophies of the changing times. I needed more drama and less melodrama; you could have pushed it over the edge to funny; creating Catharine from Withering Hights or pushed her the other way into the hatred and despise of Heatcliff. Create a female Bohemian; which you tried I see that. She just wasn't. She gave up caring while over caring is the hype in Bohemian land. so you did okay I guess... Oh yes and it's only two stars because I had to read this book for school; forced reading isn't really enjoyable Edit: November 2018; I was young and entitled. I’m sorry for the level of self righteousness I put in this review. Thank you for understanding

  29. 4 out of 5

    ダンカン

    Love - A Novel about (not so) Casanova Through The Eyes of Lucia We are unhappy because we think that love is something we require from someone else. Our salvation depends on a simple gesture that is nonetheless the most difficult act we can perform: We must give away the thing we most long for. Not to receive but to give.   There was a moment of hesitation when I challenged myself to read In Lucia's Eyes. Historical novels is not part of my reading habits (and I will never touched self-help books Love - A Novel about (not so) Casanova Through The Eyes of Lucia We are unhappy because we think that love is something we require from someone else. Our salvation depends on a simple gesture that is nonetheless the most difficult act we can perform: We must give away the thing we most long for. Not to receive but to give.   There was a moment of hesitation when I challenged myself to read In Lucia's Eyes. Historical novels is not part of my reading habits (and I will never touched self-help books and only certain autobiography books) but I am impressed by this English translation even though I felt I need to re-read a few times to get the gist of it because of its past and present in come chapters. Written in three parts, In Lucia's Eyes is written in the view of (in the beginning) of a girl (Lucia) and her relationship of her first love with Giacomo Casanova (yes, that infamous cheat of hearts) before the ever fate of meeting again in different circumstances. Their meeting was meant to be in the later years but the test of time of only one that Lucia needs to know from Casanova - true love   What I love about this book is the growth I get to read from Lucia - how someone as innocent as her when she was 14 and met Casanova (he was then on his way taking up a career as priesthood) and then it was love that is simple based on the heart of emotions. When tragedy struck on Lucia that cause her her disfigurement, she left her family in shame without telling what happened to Casanova. It was then, through all the years and experiences she went through changed her to a much stronger women and her understanding of love through the people she meet along the way. Chance and fate reconnects Lucia (changed her name to Galathee de Pompignac to conceal her identity) and Casanova (changed his name to Jacques de Seingalt), where one recognizes him and not her, put to a test if love prevails   Elegant and sexy, poignant and intriguing - In Lucia's Eyesby Arthur Japin is a read like no other. I was mesmerized and satisfied that I even ran out of vocabulary to add more for this review but only one I want to say now - a good read. While what was written is similar to modern love these days, I have never read a character of a stronger woman in equal stand with a man much like this (maybe because I have yet to read stories about strong women) and to see Lucia, that has grown so much with such intellect makes me fall in love with her. If any thing, I admired her courage, her strength and her ever endless battle of reason vs. emotion that shows us what is love in her point of view. Experiences of love do change the way we understand it and see it, and there is truth in this book that do says it. If any thing, it can be a heart-wrenching read but one that matures one's thinking.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Eline

    I didn't plan on reading this book. I hadn't heard about it or about the author AT ALL. Shame on me! But then there was my lovely neighbour who asked me if I had ever read this book. When I told her "Nope", she lent it to me, after which I read it in one day. AND I TOTALLY LOVED IT! At first I was I little reserved. Would I be able to like a book about Casanova? I don't have a thing with this man and I hate the fact he is known as a womanizer. Juk! But then, I started reading... and reading. And I didn't plan on reading this book. I hadn't heard about it or about the author AT ALL. Shame on me! But then there was my lovely neighbour who asked me if I had ever read this book. When I told her "Nope", she lent it to me, after which I read it in one day. AND I TOTALLY LOVED IT! At first I was I little reserved. Would I be able to like a book about Casanova? I don't have a thing with this man and I hate the fact he is known as a womanizer. Juk! But then, I started reading... and reading. And I kept on reading without being able to put the book down. I liked the way the whole story is told from the perspective of Lucia, the first and only real love of Casanova. She tells everything in first person and switches between the present and the past. In this pendulum we get to know who the real Casanova was before he was disappointed in love and started to court every single woman he met. It made me like this man even though I started the book standing aloof. Lucia is a great character. She was only fourteen years old when she met Casanova(while he was a guest)at the mansion where she and her parents worked for a rich lady. She loved him right away and it seemed to be mutual. When Casanova leaves the house to make a career and promises her to come back, this means the world to Lucia. She hopes he can be whatever he wants to be and she certainly hopes she will stand near him for the rest of their lives. Too bad all these hopes were in vain. Lucia is hit by a terrible and dangerous disease while Casanova it away. Luckily she survives, but she is different afterwards. So different she fears to face her great love and runs away without letting him know why. Many years later Lucia meets an interesting man. She now lives in Amsterdam and has made her live work even though it wasn't easy at all. This interesting man reminds her of her only and first love, Casanova... Could it be him? Oooh, I'd love to read some more books by Arthur Japin and I hope they will be as good as this one. I obviously recommend this book to anyone!

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