In the Company of the Courtesan

by Sarah Dunant | Literature & Fiction | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 9781844082292 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Heaven-Ali of Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on 3/2/2010
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Heaven-Ali from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Tuesday, March 02, 2010
1527. While the Papal city of Rome burns - brutally sacked by an invading army including Protestant heretics - two of her most interesting and wily citizens slip away, their stomachs churning on the jewels they have swallowed as the enemy breaks down their doors. Though almost as damaged as their beloved city, Fiammetta Bianchini and Bucino Teodoldi - a fabulous courtesan and her dwarf companion - are already planning their future. They head for the shimmering beauty of Venice, a honey pot of wealth and trade where they start to rebuild their business. As a partnership they are invincible: Bucino, clever with a sharp eye and a wicked tongue and Fiammetta, beautiful and shrewd, trained from birth to charm, entertain and satisfy men who have the money to support her. Venice, however, is a city which holds its own temptations. From the admiring Turk in search of human novelties for his Sultan's court, to the searing passion of a young lover who wants more than his allotted nights. But the greatest challenge comes from a young blind woman, a purveyor of health and beauty, who insinuates her way into their lives with devastating consequences for them all.

I bought this from a charity bookshop in Kendal while away for the weekend in October with work friends. One friend told me how this was a favourite book of hers and so I should read it. Well now I have.

This is a quick and page turning read. 16th Century Venice is brought wonderfully to life, it's water, it's sprawling passageways and dark underworld. Sarah Dunant has made the coarse and vulgar world of courtesans and pimps more palatable than might be imagined. The riches and the fabrics are almost tangible. Fiammetta's determination to remain independent, having to start again after fleeing from a devastated Rome are gripping. Bucino is an unusual and unforgettable narrator and we see this fascianting and sometimes frightening world through his eyes. For me however it is the story of the mysterious healer La Draga, that is the most memorable.

Journal Entry 2 by Heaven-Ali at Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Friday, March 26, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (3/27/2010 UTC) at Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom



At the Birmingham meet up, Hudson's Coffee shop.

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Journal Entry 3 by wingwyldetwowing from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Saturday, March 27, 2010
Picked up at this afternoon's meet

Journal Entry 4 by wingwyldetwowing at Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands United Kingdom on Saturday, September 21, 2013
Not got round to reading this unfortunately, am having to cull my TBR as we are in the process of moving to a smaller house ... hope it will find a new reader at today's BCBrum meet-up!

Released 6 yrs ago (9/21/2013 UTC) at Yorks Bakery Cafe - Newhall street in Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom


I am taking this book to the BCBrum meet-up where hopefully it will find a new reader, if not it may end up on the cafe bookshelf.

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