Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction.
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Publisher: Virago Press
This is a magnificent journey into Renaissance Florence that you can sink into like imbibing a glass of Chianti. It’s the story of Alessandra Cecci, a precocious and intelligent 15 year old girl who adores painting and lives in Renaissance Florence. Her father is a prosperous cloth merchant and he enlists the help of a young painter from northern Europe to decorate the family’s palazzo and chapel. Thus begins he story of the painter and Alessandra’s ongoing association. In the backdrop there is turbulent changes to the Medici state, which was a seat of luxury, excess and scintillating art and later is tamed by religious hellfire and brimstone of the fanatical Savonarola and his reactionary followers. There is a tense, sweeping and evocative vibe to this book that really makes you feel as though you’re in Renaissance Florence, I can’t overstate how amazing this book is, the writing is taut and evocative, the characters and their dialogue and interactions are vivid and strongly rendered. I loved this book and I consider it one of the best historical fiction books I have ever read! Strongly recommended if you enjoy historical fiction!