The House on Moon Lake by Francesca Duranti is a book which is difficult to categorise apart from calling it literary fiction. It is a short book about Fabrizio who is a successful translator of novels from German into Italian. He’s a man who feels that he has failed in life and who has a difficult relationship with his girlfriend who he often ignores. When reading a book he has bought he discovers that there is in existence a novel set at the Moon Lake which is an unknown masterpiece. He, therefore, goes to Austria to find the lake and eventually the only copy of the novel which he translates. It becomes very successful and he is asked to write the biography of the unknown writer. Because he lacks facts he creates for him a great romance which makes that book very popular too. Then he receives an invitation from the woman who he thought he invented to travel to Moon Lake and meet her.
This is a short book which is dominated by Fabrizio’s relationship with the three women – his girlfriend, the woman he invents and the woman who invites him to Moon Lake. He is mostly passive and reactive but is drawn into the Moon Lake book by the mystery attached to it. He tries to tame this mystery in his translation but when he ends up by the lake towards the end of the book he feels drawn there and his will is slowly overwhelmed by the woman who hosts him.
I have seen this book described as horror but I didn’t find it frightening although the ending is not good for Fabrizio. It’s a book that tries to show you how minds can be played with and how faint the line is between reality and fiction. Sadly, it didn’t do a lot for me at all and I found the book quite dull – I only finished it because it was short.