The Birth of Venus
4 journalers for this copy...
Alessandra is not quite fifteen when her prosperous merchant father brings a young painter back with him from Holland to adorn the walls of the new family chapel. She is fascinated by his talents and envious of his abilities and opportunities to paint to the glory of God. Soon her love of art and her lively independence are luring her into closer involvement with all sorts of taboo areas of life. On excursions into the streets of night-time Florence she observes a terrible evil stalking the city and witnesses the rise of the fiery young priest, Savanarola, who has set out to rid the city of vice, richness, even art itself. Alessandra must make crucial decisions about the shape of her adult life, as Florence itself must choose between the old ways of the luxury-loving Medicis and the asceticism of Savanorola. And through it all, there is the painter, whose love will change everything.
Alessandra is a intelligent, educated, curious and opinionated and has a budding artistic talent – all things not considered appropriate for a woman in a world where a passive resignation to early marriage, motherhood and the management of the household were the designated role – unless you were a prostitute or a nun.
She is torn between her own desires and the necessity to conform and finds herself caught up in both family intrigue and the consequences of the political and religious turmoil in late C15 Florence, especially the rise of the terrifying fundamentalist preacher Savanarola.
Any more about the plot would be spoilers.
Sarah Dunant brings Renaissance Florence vividly to life in all its sensuality and violence. I particularly love the attention to the domestic details of food, clothes, the traditions and ceremonies of family life and the creation of art.
A fantastic thrilling read with a sympathetic and well drawn central character - and an eye opening history lesson.
This is going out on a bookray
Some Bookray 'rules' (thanks to Rivercassini)
* Journal the book when you receive it.
* PM the next person on the list for their address when you receive it so as to try to avoid hold-ups later on.
* If you don't hear from the next participant within a few days, PM them again. If after a few more days you still haven't heard from them, PM me to let me know, and move on to the next person on the list.
* Read (and hopefully enjoy!) Don't feel pressurised to read it in a rush (and remember that life gets in the way sometimes for all of us!) but if you need to keep hold of the book for longer than say six weeks or a couple of months, please journal to let us know.
* Journal again when you've read it to let us know what you think of it!
* Surface/economy mail is fine, but please make a note in a journal entry so the person you're sending to has a rough idea of when to expect it.
DSP - UK (Prefers EU)
RubyBlueLady - UK (Prefers Europe)
kotus123 - Germany (intl) - BOOK HERE
snufkin81 - South Africa (intl)
ealasaidmae - USA (N America)
Breeze144 - Canada (?)
If anyone else wishes to join, pm me.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
On its way to DSP. Hope you enjoy it!
I shall read this after the book I started last night.
Off to the next participant in the bookray by the end of the week.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Sent in the post to the next bookray participant.
I had planned to read all of Sarah Dunant's books and I wont let my issue with this one put me off. Thank you for sharing this one.
I have the address for kotus123 so will send the book of in the next day or so.
Shall start on it asap and I'm really excited with the info by RubyRedLady even though she was not impressed by the heroine. Shall journal afterwards and am pming the next in line rightaway too.
Till later then...