The Hourglass

A novel about time and ageing, love and opera, set in a Venice that's constantly changing and forever stays the same.

Paul Geddes, a Scot living in London, arrives in Venice to seek out a cache of papers that will give new lustre to a forgotten fin-de-siècle singer in whom he has an ardent interest. In rescuing Esme Maguire from obscurity he hopes also to shed light on the wider events of her life and times. His researches have put him in touch with Eva Forrest, a wealthy widow in possession of a tantalising archive that is yet to be explored. A troubled love affair fraught with mistrust develops between the two. 

Eva resists Paul’s probings about her personal story and the history of the Venetian house where he is staying. When her past begins to come to light through an encounter in the Dolomites, the effects are devastating. 

About the author

Liz Heron's books include Truth, Dare or Promise, a compilation of essays on childhood, and Streets of Desire, an anthology of women’s 20th-century writing on the world’s great cities. Her work has appeared in various anthologies and her short-story collection, A Red River, was published in 1996.

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Why We Like It

  • A novel with a strong sense of place, The Hourglass will transport you right to the heart of Venice.
  • Powerful musings on what it would mean to be immortal and a valuing of mortality.
  • Moving insights into how the signs of ageing can contradict who we feel we are.

Liz Heron

Liz Heron grew up in Scotland and studied at Glasgow University. After spells in Paris, Madrid and Venice, she embarked on freelance writing life in London, contributing arts and literary journalism to a range of publications, as well as editing for book publishers and magazines. Her books include Truth, Dare or Promise, a compilation of essays on childhood, and Streets of Desire, an anthology of women’s 20th-century writing on the world’s great cities. Her work has appeared in various anthologies and her short-story collection, A Red River, was published in 1996.

Since then she’s spent three more years in Venice and done a lot of translation: from literary novels to opera libretti for CDs.

She writes a blog, mainly on film, as well as art, books and politics.

How it works

The book will be delivered in 10 instalments (or staves), one every day. The instalments are delivered to your Pigeonhole bookshelf on your IOS or Android app, plus you can read on our web reader. You will receive an email letting you know when each stave is available.

We believe that shared reading leads to new ideas and connections. That’s why we have a dynamic commenting system which allows in-text discussion between our readers. Post a comment and all your fellow readers will be able to respond. You can also choose to receive notifications (customise them here) when someone responds to your comment, or, additionally, whenever a comment is left in the book.

As you read you will see round purple icons at the edge of certain paragraphs – tap on these to reveal behind-the-scenes extra content!

We kindly ask that you help us spread the brilliance of this book and support the author by leaving an Amazon review at the end the serialisation. The full book will be available on your Pigeonhole bookshelf for one month for you to read at your leisure. 

Any questions? Drop us a line on laurence@pigeonholepublishing.com.

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