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The Birth of Venus : A Novel
by Sarah Dunant | Literature & Fiction
Registered by CrazyDutchwoman of Heemstede, Noord-Holland Netherlands on 3/20/2006
Average 9 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by Mizuchy): to be read

4 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by CrazyDutchwoman from Heemstede, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Monday, March 20, 2006

9 out of 10

Reading now. I have 2 copies. One of them I got from My darling Valentine Shauney and the other one I bought secondhand and is going to Xeyra as part of the Historical Fiction Swap.
I have read and really enjoyed it. This book got me really interested in fresco's and I'd love to visit Florence. Great story.

In this arresting tale of art, love and betrayal in 15th-century Florence, the daughter of a wealthy cloth merchant seeks the freedom of marriage in order to paint, but finds that she may have bought her liberty at the cost of love and true fulfillment. Alessandra, 16, is tall, sharp-tongued and dauntingly clever. At first reluctant to agree to an arranged marriage, she changes her mind when she meets elegant 48-year-old Cristoforo, who is well-versed in art and literature. He promises to give her all the freedom she wants-and she finds out why on her wedding night. Her disappointment and frustration are soon overshadowed by the growing cloud of madness and violence hanging over Florence, nourished by the sermons of the fanatically pious Savonarola. As the wealthy purge their palazzos of "low" art and luxuries, Alessandra gives in to the dangerous attraction that draws her to a tormented young artist commissioned to paint her family's chapel. With details as rich as the brocade textiles that built Alessandra's family fortune, Dunant (Mapping the Edge; Transgressions; etc.) masterfully recreates Florence in the age of the original bonfire of the vanities. The novel moves to its climax as Savonarola's reign draws to a bloody close, with the final few chapters describing Alessandra's fate and hinting at the identity of her artist lover. While the story is rushed at the end, the author has a genius for peppering her narrative with little-known facts, and the deadpan dialogue lends a staccato verve to the swift-moving plot. Forget Baedecker and Vasari's Lives of the Artists. Dunant's vivid, gripping novel gives fresh life to a captivating age of glorious art and political turmoil.

Journal Entry 2 by CrazyDutchwoman at Mail in Mailed to another BookCrosser, A Book Swap! -- Controlled Releases on Friday, April 07, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Released 12 yrs ago (4/7/2006 UTC) at Mail in Mailed to another BookCrosser, A Book Swap! -- Controlled Releases



Mailed this today to Xeyra. I really enjoyed it. Hope you'll like it also Rita. (Bookswap) 

Journal Entry 3 by Xeyra from Seixal, Setúbal Portugal on Monday, April 24, 2006

This book has not been rated.

It has arrived today and very well accompanied by a pair of lovely porcelain shoes from Holland. They're so cute! And I was so glad to have gotten this book from the swap, because it's been in my wishlist for a while now. I'm really looking forward to reading it. Thanks for mailing it so swiftly, Marlene. Hugs!

May 12: Reserved for the Historical Swap #2. Going to blaisezabini12

Journal Entry 4 by Xeyra from Seixal, Setúbal Portugal on Tuesday, July 11, 2006

10 out of 10

I finished this book a couple of days ago. Took me a while longer than anticipated because, well, it's a huge historical novel, and I always take longer to read those, even when I am enjoying them. And I loved The Birth of Venus. I truly did. I think this may be one of my favorite reads this year, so far.

I loved the setting, I loved the writing but mostly I loved the main character, Alessandra, who carried the story, who told us of life from her perspective, who showed us a glimpse of life in the Florence of the 15th century, the conventions, the conflicts, the culture, the religious fanatism, and the art. It was an amazing read that made me breathe in the airs of Florence and cringe as its beauty was tainted by an over-zealous priest.

Beautifully and richly written, this book is certainly a must read for those who enjoy historical fiction. I must go search for some more Sarah Dunant books.

I'm going to be sending this book to blaisezabini as soon as funds allow. 

Journal Entry 5 by blaisezabini12 from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA on Tuesday, October 03, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Thank you Xeyra for mailing this book to me. It looks lovely:) 

Journal Entry 6 by Mizuchy from Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania and Partium Romania on Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Just got it from blaisezabini12. To be read asap. Thank you! 

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