Her book is full of spontaneous decisions and aimless meandering ... Not in a fluid, narrative but rather in a series of scattered, at times haphazard, recollections ... Contains some standout chapters ... Although Ms. Leon’s slim memoir proves warm, witty and engaging, some readers and most fans will be left wanting more. She offers an overview of her life rather than an in-depth trawl through it. Many chapters are mere vignettes, and key topics are overlooked ... Discloses next to nothing about the nuts and bolts of her writing.
Sprightly ... . Leon is coy and discerning in the anecdotes she selects to chronicle her 80 years on Earth, whether lamenting Venice’s environmental degradation or reveling in the works of Handel. Though fans will bask in these candid glimpses, one need not be a devoted Brunetti aficionado to appreciate Leon’s delightfully spirited account of a life well lived.
A series of short vignettes rather than a structured autobiography. Leon gives us anecdotes, but not much sense of her private or creative life. This is surprising and disappointing from an author who has so richly described her fictional Commmisario Guido Brunetti, his family, and his colleagues in her celebrated Venetian mystery series ... Entertaining, if somewhat frustrating. It will, nonetheless, be of interest to Donna Leon’s many fans.
Brief, chatty ... Her tone throughout, lacking both the delicacy and the gravitas of her detective stories, is so cheerfully self-deprecating that it seems especially odd that she takes time out twice to assure the readers she invites into her world—but rarely into her mind—that she’s never used drugs. Delightfully approachable but disappointingly unrevealing.