Young, beautiful, and witty, Ginevra de' Benci longs to take part in the artistic ferment of Renaissance Florence. But as the daughter of a wealthy family in a society dictated by men, she is trapped in an arranged marriage, expected to limit her creativity to domestic duties. Her poetry reveals her deepest feelings, and she aches to share her work, to meet painters and sculptors mentored by the famed Lorenzo de Medici, and to find love.
When the charismatic Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Bembo, arrives in Florence, he introduces Ginevra to a dazzling circle of patrons, artists, and philosophers—a world of thought and conversation she has yearned for. She is instantly attracted to the handsome newcomer, who admires her mind as well as her beauty. Yet Ginevra remains conflicted about his attentions. Choosing her as his Platonic muse, Bembo commissions a portrait by a young Leonardo da Vinci. Posing for the brilliant painter inspires an intimate connection between them—one Ginevra can only begin to understand. In a rich and enthralling world of exquisite art, elaborate feasts, and exhilarating jousts, she faces many temptations to discover her voice, artistic companionship, and a love that defies categorization. In the end, she and Leonardo are caught up in a dangerous and deadly battle between powerful families.
This book was so fantastic! And I learned things from it, which my dad is always saying is the bad thing of me reading so much fiction! So ha! And for a book that is not an action on, there was certainly some really interest events going on in this book!
I'm really glad that I don't live in this time period! Like, she was basically sold at 16 into marriage. That she was considered property. And the whoel Platonic muse, to have this guy who isn't her husband, to love her without the phsyical side, and for her to be responsible for his soul going to heaven, basically? Not cool! And that outer beauty showed inner beauty, when we know now with the mean girls cliche, isn't real.
Art is not something that I understand. Colour and the beauty there, I can sometimes see. But what Leonardo and his master were talking about, yeah, I don't see things like that. But people are made differently, and fit into different places, me with books, and them with art!
A bit of a bittersweet ending, because her life was pretty confined by the customs of the time, but she started to change them with Leonardo and the painting. So that's pretty great! And while romance might be a big thing in this book, it was kinda sad how it all turned out, but yeah. That's life!
Loved this book, it was just so great!
Author: L.M. Elliott
Read: October 5th, 2015
Reason Why: Sounded really fantastic! And it's a Historical Fiction 2015 Book, SAC 2015 Book and a WoW Book!
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Expected Publication: November 10th 2015