Listen free for 30 days

Signora da Vinci

A Novel
Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
Length: 15 hrs and 9 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

"I suffered much cruelty as an unmarried mother and I had no recourse when they took my boy away from me. I had no rights, no prospects, no future. Everyone believed I was ruined. But no one knew the secrets of my own childhood, nor could they ever have imagined the dangerous and heretical scheme I would devise to protect and watch over my remarkable son as he grew in to manhood.

"Some might call me a liar, since all I describe would be impossible for a woman of my station. But that is where my design unfolds, and I am finally ready to reveal it. They call me Caterina. And this is my story."

©2009 Robin Maxwell (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic reviews

"Re-creates Renaissance Italy in splendid detail." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for SB
  • SB
  • 08-10-16

Beautiful! Journey into a fascinating past world!

Any additional comments?


I love this original story, wonderful fiction peppered with breathtaking historical details and takes you on a journey to a fascinating past world-Renaissance Italy.

Interesting story about a woman (Da Vinci's mother) perseverance in a society where women had few choices and very little power. Yes, there is romance, but it is an integral part of a woman's life, particularly in a time when it was almost impossible to survive without a man at her side- so in my opinion it is appropriate to the story.

Narration was good, and I couldn't stop listening!

Story: 5 stars, excellent historical fiction with some appropriate romance!
Narration: 4 stars
Relationship: appropriate development and some romance.

Overall: beautiful, definitely worth a credit and your time!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Polish Princess
  • Polish Princess
  • 07-04-15

Lost steam.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, I wouldn't recommend it. Although it had some very interesting parts about DaVinci and the history of Florence, it degenerated into a "B" romance story very quickly.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Didn't make it that far.

What about Bernadette Dunne’s performance did you like?

She did a good job at different character voices and at presenting emotional inflections at appropriate times.

Was Signora da Vinci worth the listening time?

Meh. I'll probably finish it eventually, but it wasn't worth the credit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jenna Moon
  • Jenna Moon
  • 16-08-10

Too much Harlequin Romance

I expected a historical novel and felt like I got a romance novel set in the 1400s. I do like Jane Austen and the historical mystery romances by Tasha Alexander, so I'm not anti-romance. But, I did not like Signora da Vinci and only listened to about 1/4. I wanted to like it. I planned to listen to it while flying to Italy this summer and it seemed perfect:, but I just couldn't finish it. The author seemed to have done her research and the premise was interesting, but it came across as fluffy and breathless- perhaps my opinion was negatively influenced by the narrator's style...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for StrayPup
  • StrayPup
  • 06-02-19

A series of bad decisions

Historical fiction is normally my go-to reading/listening choice, so I was excited about the prospect of reading this speculative fiction about Leonardo da Vinci's upbringing. We know few documented facts about his mother and early childhood, so a riff on this part of his life is intriguing. The unfolding of this story is interesting; Leonardo's grandfather is a learned scholar and an apothecary in a small village and his only child and daughter is home schooled, well-educated, and his helper in his business. The 14-year-old girl makes the first of a long series of bad decisions by falling in love with and becoming pregnant by Leonardo's immature young father, the son of a wealthy and social-climbing family with ties in Florence.

The tale seems to be well-researched, and peppered with just the right amount of descriptions of life in this period. What begins as a good story arc starts to wobble after a couple of hours, and becomes driven by a succession of bad decisions, forced coincidences, and improbable plot twists that are increasingly implausible (no spoilers). At hour number five, I had to stop reading. Leonardo's plucky mother and the direction of the story were headed into situations that were so unlikely for that period in Florentine history that I couldn't make myself believe that they were remotely possible. Perhaps if I'd been able to suspend disbelief and keep reading, the story would have mended itself.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for jennifer
  • jennifer
  • 21-12-18

Not what I expected

This was picked as a book club book and I wasnt very thrilled, however, I was pleasantly surprised to thoroughly enjoy the storyline and the reader giving the audio presentation.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for J. Thigpen
  • J. Thigpen
  • 12-10-18

Fantastic book

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was written well and it allowed me to truly feel the characters thoughts and feelings. I couldn't put it down. I highly recommend!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Peggy
  • Peggy
  • 02-01-13

Fascinating and cant stop listening

Found this book very interesting and entertaining. This is one I may listen to again.