Title: The Birth of Venus
Author: Sarah Dunant
Publisher: Random House 2003
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 3/5 stars
Reading Challenges: TBR Pile; Popsugar - Set in a country that fascinates me;
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.
Hmmm... So I think this is a perfectly fine book with a fine plot and gorgeous setting. I just couldn't find myself connecting to anything or anyone in the book. I finished it, hoping to make a connection t some point, but I just didn't. Possibly this book just wasn't for me. I must say that the setting in Florence is perfect! I usually love stories set in Italy. I just didn't love this one.
Next up on the TBR pile: