Friday, January 22, 2010

Book Review: The Birth of Venus

This book was....well....ok. There was nothing necessarily wrong with the book, but the entire time I was reading I kept thinking -I think I've read this before. Considering the amount of reading I do this was a distinct possibility -however I checked my booklist (I've been keeping track of the books I've read since we moved here in September 2007) and The Birth of Venus was not on the list. What was on the list was I, Mona Lisa by Jeanne Kalogridis in August 2009.

The similarities between the books are as follows:
- set in Florence
- in the late 1400s
- the rise of Savonarola and his increasingly "pious" preaching
- the main characters are young women from "good families"
- the woman are "rebellious" i.e. they are inquisitive, love to learn and read, interested in art
- the woman is married off to an older prominant man
- he has a lover (male in The Birth of Venus-I can't remember for I, Mona Lisa)
- male characters+sodomy+"pious preaching"
- she falls in love with an artist
- she gets pregnant "whose baby is it??"
- she finds out here mother did the same thing with one of the Medicis "whose my daddy?"
- the city revolts
- the husband dies or leaves
- the woman is reunited with her true love/baby daddy

No I must be admit, I really enjoy historical fiction! I purposely choose books with these themes or in these settings, so it was bound to happen. This book wasn't bad-I did enjoy it, but when you're thinking "I've read this before" the WHOLE time you're reading a book, its not very exciting!

One thing that caught my attention was how often Dante's Inferno was mentioned in the book. This reminded me of The Gargoyle as it is central to the love story between the narrator and Marianne.

I think I might have to read Inferno, or maybe even all of Dante's Divine comedy....
What do you think? Has anyone else read any or all of it?

1 comment:

  1. I have not read Dante's Inferno. The closest I came was The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl. I think it may be a good primer for the real deal. It's somewhere on Lake Shore Blvd if you're ever interested. It's not a bad book.
    play it safe,
    Jesse V.


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