Sinyora Da Vinci (2008)
Sinyora da Vinci (2008)
3.88 of 5 Votes: 3
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This is one of my favorite times in history and I enjoy interpretations on women from that period. In Signora Da Vinci, Maxwell presented an interesting take on Leonardo da Vinci's mother. Many of the details around the novel did ring true to the time period but there were places where there was obviously much license taken and took me out of the book in distraction. That was a bit disappointing because a good historical fiction will blend the fiction and nonfiction seamlessly. Ultimately, I rated this 2 stars because it could have used a rigorous editing to keep Maxwell on track and the novel moving along. Overall, interesting perspective but not something I'd reread. Who was Leonardo da Vinci's Mother? That is debatable. Historians are pretty sure her name was Caterina, but was she an Arab, a slave or simply a peasant? We do know she had Leonardo out of wedlock with a Florentine notary, Piero. Most scholars believe and evidence shows she was a slave from Constantinople, living in Piero's friend Vanni di Niccolo's house. That's about it. Some believe she married later and had five more children. Whatever the case the author had an opportunity to weave a great story. Fact is Leonardo's life was extraordinary. Add The de Medicis and it's fascinating. Instead the author turns Caterina into a girl raised by her apothecary father, who as she is walking in the fields alone, runs into Piero, falls in love, was promised marriage and she gives it up and has Leonardo. Of course Piero can't marry her, because she is beneath him. Piero is "surprisingly" crushed and can't get over her. His family takes the baby from Caterina and raises him in the stables with the horses "uh ok". Little Leonardo won't feed without his mother, so they hire her as a wet nurse. As history has documented Leonardo grows up and moves in with Lorenzo de Medici, who nourished and helped artists flourish. Here is where the story loses me. Caterina, dresses as man and moves to Florence to be with her son. She easily "unbelievably" simply enters The Medici's Palace as an apothecary and falls in love with Lorenzo, hangs with Popes, becomes pen pals with Cardinal Borgia "still laughing at that one" and witnesses first hand all of Florence's history. Did I mention as a man she wore a pee horn? Overall, this had the makings of a great story, but it fell flat with silly "what ifs." At least the author admitted this was simply fiction, but for me it could have been so much more.
Though fictional, the book reads like real life. Totally enjoyable.
Meh. I expected more excitement in a story about DaVinci's history
Fascinating look into renaissance Italy.
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