A dazzlingly imagined novel that embraces two centuries, two young women, a long-lost journal, and the mystery of the legendary Casanova's last great love.
It's 1797, and an aging Casanova has returned to Venice in disguise to elude the authorities. There he meets Asked For Adams, the niece of American president John Adams, who is accompanying her father on a trade mission, just as Napoleon's army invades, throwing the city into chaos. Casanova convinces Asked For to abandon her future as the wife of a Yankee farmer and set out with him on a dangerous adventure through post-Byzantine Greece to Istanbul, which she records in intimate detail in her travel journal-until the account ends suddenly.
Two hundred years later this journal comes into the possession of Luce Adams, Asked For's twenty-first-century descendant, an awkward and shy young archivist grieving her mother's death. En route to her mother's memorial service in Crete, accompanied by her mother's lover, and entrusted with delivering precious letters by Casanova to the Venetian library, she falls under the spell of the two adventurers and becomes determined to find out what happened to them.
As their stories interweave, both young women are touched by the spirit of Casanova, a man whose appetite for life and generous spirit ignites possibility everywhere he goes. By the end, Luce uncovers the fate not only of Asked For but of her own mother, and she finds herself set free by what she learns about travel, self-invention, loss, acceptance, and, of course, love.