Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Birth of Venus

The Birth of Venus: A Novel The Birth of Venus: A Novel by Sarah Dunant

My review
rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a well-written book. The story was easy to fall into, at times disturbing and beautiful. The subject matter was overwhelming at times, definitely not a "mindless read". The plot has innumerable twists that keep the reader interested.

Pub. Date: February 2004

Synopsis: Alessandra Cecchi is not quite fifteen when her father, a prosperous cloth merchant, brings a young painter back from northern Europe to decorate the chapel walls in the family’s Florentine palazzo. A child of the Renaissance, with a precocious mind and a talent for drawing, Alessandra is intoxicated by the painter’s abilities.

But their burgeoning relationship is interrupted when Alessandra’s parents arrange her marriage to a wealthy, much older man. Meanwhile, Florence is changing, increasingly subject to the growing suppression imposed by the fundamentalist monk Savonarola, who is seizing religious and political control. Alessandra and her native city are caught between the Medici state, with its love of luxury, learning, and dazzling art, and the hellfire preaching and increasing violence of Savonarola’s reactionary followers. Played out against this turbulent backdrop, Alessandra’s married life is a misery, except for the surprising freedom it allows her to pursue her powerful attraction to the young painter and his art.

Recommended Reading:
In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant
Courtesan by Diane Haeger
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
Pompeii : A Novel by Robert Harris

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