Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Blurb (from Goodreads):
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.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
"I beg your pardon, I am a mountain tiger."
This story was a little different to what I’d normally read, but it was interesting that it was based on a real painting.
Ginevra was quite a spirited girl, and obviously passionate about art and her own purity, even though she was in an arranged marriage.
The storyline in this was about Ginevra meeting Leonardo Da Vinci, and the portrait he made of her, as well as some tensions in Florence at the time. There was a bit of romance going on with someone trying to play for Ginevra affections even though she was married, and some feelings that Ginevra had for Leonardo himself. I did find the political themes in the book hard to follow (I don’t really understand politics), but the rest of the book was enjoyable enough.
The ending to this was okay, and I was pleased that Ginevra managed to hold on to her beliefs no matter what pressures were heaped on her.
6 out of 10