Sunday, July 23, 2006

Book Review: Birth of Venus

Barnes and Noble says that people who bought Sarah Dunant's book also bought Tracy Chevalier's "The Lady and the Unicorn." I find that kind of funny because when I was reading this book I kept being reminded of "The Lady and the Unicorn." They are both set back in old times (Dunant's book was in late 1400's) and revolve around a world of art. And they are both very, very good books.

At first I wasn't crazy about the heroine in this book because, even though she was supposed to be a strong and independant woman, I found it kind of annoying because historical novels are always about strong, independant women who break the mold of their times and refuse to conform to societies roles for women. A nice theory, but definitely cliche in books. However, Dunant redeemed herself in Alessandra in that she wonderfully captured her process of maturing as her life became more and more... difficult, I guess you could say.

But what I really loved about this book was that it wasn't just a story about a girl, but rather a story about a city. Florence was as much a character as anyone else in the book, and while I don't know a whole lot about Florentine history, the period that Dunant wrote about was absolutely facinating. Her religious theme was also beautifully constructed and perfectly executed. I wasn't happy at the end of the book, but I was very satisfied with the way it was written.

Lindsey's Grade: A

1 comment:

Kim said...

Ok, so maybe you should try reading "In the Company of the Courtesan." It just may be that her style is not my cup of chowder.