Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Birth of Venus

Because I realized it's been such a long while since I've done a book review on here, and because I just recently finished a book that I literally could NOT put down...  it only made sense for me to share it with all of you today. For those of you who are into historical fiction (and even those who are not), The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant would be a novel I highly recommend! The perfect mix of suspense, intrigue, history... readers are instantly pulled into 15th century Florence as seen through the eyes of a young, ambitious Florentine girl. The book chronicles the trials and tribulations faced by this otherwise luxurious and thriving city, including the terrifying threat of plague, the downward spiral of the Medici dynasty, and the rise of one highly influential Girolamo Savonarola. This Renaissance-era novel is rich with art history, which may have been one of the principle reasons why it had me so captivated. I also loved the complexity of the novel; so many layers, intriguing characters and side stories come together to create such an elaborate and gripping tale complete with love, drama, and even bits of mystery. Even more than the story itself, I loved Dunant's style... as a lit major, I do notice and appreciate uniquely beautiful prose, and I found Dunant's language to be so appropriately extravagant. I definitely do not want to include spoilers, so I'll keep this already lengthy review short. If you're looking for a good book to curl up with, this one will not disappoint... take my word for it!

Before I go, I wanted to wrap this post up with a photo of Botticelli's  painting, The Birth of Venus, just because. The original is currently located in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence (sadly, photos were not allowed in the gallery when I was there but needless to say it is absolutely beautiful in person)...

And there's your mid-week inspiration... stunning, n'est-ce pas?

images via goodreads.com; botticellibirthofvenus.com

4 comments:

Cafe Fashionista said...

This book sounds amazing - I had no idea that it was a type of suspense novel mixed with history. I may need to add this to my must-read list. Great review!! :)

Sandra Leiva said...

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la petite fashionista said...

YES! I need book reccommendations badly, & I love historical fictio and i'm a sucker for anything that takes place in france or italy. I will definitely try to pick this one upm thank you!