Thoroughly enjoyable read. Set in Venice in the mid 1500's, while it is a Historical Novel, it is basically fact based, and therefore an excellent window into the Venice of old. I could not put it down!
I thourghly enjoyed this book. The historical part was right on! I love books that show me a glimpse of a life so different from my own. A religous war, a dwarf and a Courtesan, who could have thought of a better mix?
A beauty of a book! I liked this better than Dunant's The Birth of Venus. She has a wonderful descriptive talent. Her characters are so well developed and real, you are sad to let them go at the end. I could feel and smell the fog through her words: "Outside the city is changing. While we have been talking of God's laws and secrets of the earth, a cold fog has come rolling off the sea, pushing through the alleys, sliding over the water, rubbing up against the cold stone. As I walk, the street falls away behind me, the shop's blue awning lost within seconds. People move like ghosts, their voices disconnected from their bodies; as fast as they loom up, the disappear again. I can barely see the ground under my feet or tell if the gloom is weather or the beginning of dusk." Loved it, loved it, loved it.
Story of Fiammetta, a courtesan who left Rome after it was sacked by the Spanish and Germans, and moved back to her hometown of Venice with Bucino, a dwarf serving as her companion and assistant. At the ripe old age of 21, having been a whore for six years and now in her prime, Fiammetta seeks to rebuild her house and her power base in 1520's Venice. Once again, the author uses her verbal paintbrush to unveil a unique portrait of the city, the times, the people, the mood of the era and makes you wish you were there despite the unpleasant side of it all. I enjoyed this book quite a lot, but it didn't quite have the magical sparkle that The Birth of Venus had.
If you liked The Other Boylen Girl, you will like this. The most interesting aspect of the story is that the narrator is a dwarf! A good book if you like Period Novels.