Friday, 13 August 2010

The Birth of Venus

Author: Sarah Dunant
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 391
First Line: "No one had seen her naked until her death."
First Published: 2003

Synopsis: Alessandra Cecchi is fourteen years old when her father brings a young painter to their home in Florence,Italy to paint a frescoe. Alessandra shares his love of art and quickly becomes intrigued by the artist's abilities.

Meanwhile, in Florence there is a clash between the decadent Medici family and fire and brimstone preacher by the name of Savonarola and his aggressive followers. In order to keep their daughter safe, Alessandra's parents marry her off to a much older merchant. During this very tumultuous time Alessandra must find her own way and explore the things that she's passionate about.

My Thoughts: I truly wanted to like this book. I adore the setting (Firenze/Florence) and the time in history. I read 250 pages (of the 391) and was finding that I was forcing myself to read. I hate that ... so I gave up. After 250 pages literally nothing happened! Yes there was one surprise but there was no momentum and I found the characters really flat. Alessandra was the typical 'ugly duckling' who is trying to break away from the confines that society set on women of the time by being interested in painting instead of marriage and family. I didn't get a great mental picture of Florence or the era either (which I expect from a historical fiction read).

My Rating: 0/5 stars (aka I didn't finish it)


Aleisha said...

That's such a shame, I really enjoyed this book! You got me thinking though, it's been a while since I read it, maybe I should read it again. I did really enjoy "Need" and "My Best Friend's Daughter". I personally think your next read should be the Steig Larsson series, it's really good!

Laurie said...

I know. It just seemed like the story was going nowhere fast. I LOVED the setting but didn't even get why there was such a deep connection between the painter and the main character ... when they had barely said anything to each other. Huh. Oh well, I'll definitely put the Steig Larsson series on my to read list.

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