The one thing I can say I truly loved about this novel was the setting. I do love a good Italian setting and it was clear that the author knew the city of Venice and also had a deep love for the city as well. There was also a love of gondoliers that I sensed and I admit I hadn't given them much thought before, now I wonder about the secrets that gondoliers of the past and today know. There was also a good amount of the Italian language included, which is a weakness of mine as well.
What I did not love was the plot overall. The book was not poorly written by any means but I found myself bored by halfway. Considering this was not a lengthy book, I felt this was a rather significant issue. The character of Laura was definitely likable, as was Faustina and Giacomo. However, the characters could have been better characterized and fleshed out a bit more, this was especially true for the "bad" characters. Having a one-dimensional character suddenly turn on the others isn't as entertaining or surprising as one you have molded to be likable and/or involved more in the plot. BTW, Laura's father was wholly intolerable and I found Laura's commitment to him frustrating (all of the "in that day and age" behavior aside).
Also, for this reader there was a bit too much religion. No, it is not heavy-handed considering the number of years Laura spent in a convent but even some religion would be tedious for this reader.