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Summary

Alessandra is not quite 15 when her prosperous merchant father brings a young painter back with him from Holland to adorn the walls of the new family chapel. She is fascinated by his talents and envious of his abilities and opportunities to paint to the glory of God. Soon her love of art and her lively independence are luring her into closer involvement with all sorts of taboo areas of life.

On excursions into the streets of night-time Florence she observes a terrible evil stalking the city and witnesses the rise of the fiery young priest, Savanarola, who has set out to rid the city of vice, richness, even art itself. Alessandra must make crucial decisions about the shape of her adult life, as Florence itself must choose between the old ways of the luxury-loving Medicis and the asceticism of Savanorola. And through it all, there is the painter, whose love will change everything.

©2003 Sarah Dunant (P)2005 Time Warner AudioBooks

Critic reviews

"No one should visit Tuscany this summer without this book. It is richly textured, and driven by a thrillerish fever." ( The Times)

What members say

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    3 out of 5 stars
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lovley book

a very good delightful book investing heard many times enjoybel read one to curl up in the garden

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Heather
  • 25-05-12

Incoherent abridgement - ludicrious references

Would you try another book from Sarah Dunant and/or Jenny Sterling?

no

Would you ever listen to anything by Sarah Dunant again?

no

What didn’t you like about Jenny Sterling’s performance?

irritating voice

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Birth of Venus?

it was an incoherent abridgement - unbalanced. Long drawn out parts and then rushing through teh last 1/2 of the story in the last hour. To be fair, I do not like abridged versions and msised that when I ordered it, but it was terribly done in this case.

Any additional comments?

Especially annoying - having a 15th century narrator use words like "crap" and talk about contractions being 5 min apart - discredited the whole suspended disbelief.