a visual and literary feast for romantics everywhere.

“A wrenching story of eternal love.” — NPR Books 

“To truly love another, you must follow the lover’s path wherever it may take you . . .” 

Filamena Ziani is the much younger sister of the most famous courtesan in sixteenth-century Venice, Tullia Ziani. Orphaned as an infant, Filamena has come of age bent like a branch to her sister’s will, sheltered and lonely in the elegant but stifling confines of their palazzo by the sea. Then a dark-haired stranger offers a gift that will change the course of her life forever: a single ripe plum, and an invitation to walk along the lover’s path, wherever it may lead.

The Lover’s Path, a moving tale of forbidden love, is an illustrated novella told in multiple layers. Through a unique combination of Filamena’s narrative, famous love stories from history and mythology, and sumptuously ornate illustrations, Filamena’s path is beautifully described and, finally, stunningly revealed. Praised by The New York Times Book Review for her “quality of myth and magic,” Waldherr brings to life a remarkable period in Venetian history. Her glorious celebration of romance, the feminine spirit, and the power of love to transform will inspire and move readers everywhere.

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Originally published by Abrams Books. Now available as an e-book. Expanded and Revised Anniversary Edition. 118 pages. Full color illustrations throughout. 

praise and reviews

“Prepare to be transported to 16th century Venice from the first page. This novel is a feast—a full-color picture book for adults that tells a wrenching story of eternal love.” NPR Books

“Beautiful in every way; not only is the story of the girl’s secret and ultimately dangerous love wonderfully told, but the exquisite illustrations and layout make you feel that you have truly fallen into old Venice with its longing and eroticism…. You must own this lovely, lovely book!” — Stephanie Cowell, bestselling author of Claude and Camille and Marrying Mozart

“A visual and literary feast…. The star-crossed lovers are a celebrated courtesan’s virginal and over-protected young sister and a cardinal’s illegitimate son…. Haunting.”—Mary Sharratt, award-winning author of Daughters of the Witching Hill and Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen

“Complete with gilded edges and marbled pages, Kris Waldherr’s The Lover’s Path plunges readers into the mysterious and exhilarating world of sixteenth-century Venice…. A visual adventure.” Women in the Arts, the Magazine of the National Museum of Women in the Arts

“With this illustrated novel, Waldherr has spun a wondrous story spilling over with mythological figures, with tarot cards and personal letters. You’re pulled into a vortex of a 16th century romance centered on Filamena Ziani, the younger sister of a famous courtesan in Venice.” The Albuquerque Journal

“Voluptuous illustration and enthralling narrative are accompanied by fun-to-open letters, maps, and tarot cards in this extraordinary testament to the strength of the feminine spirit.” WNBC/B(u)y the Book


Screen captures from iPad and Kindle Fire format.

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