Genre of book
Alessandra Cecchi is a very precocious 14 year old when her father brings a young Northern Italian painter in to paint the chapel in the family's palazzo. Allessandra's father is a wealthy merchant in the Renaissance. Florence is under the influence of the Medicis with their love of art and luxury. But Savonarola, a religious monk, is trying to gain political power and life is becoming more violent and morally suffocating. In the midst of all this, the French are threatening to invade.
Alessandra loves to draw and finds the new painter attractive and mysterious. With the French on the doorstep of Florence, Alessandra is given a choice of being sent to a convent or marrying quickly. Her married life is a disaster but Alessandra is allowed the freedom to pursue her art.
Like many of Dunant's books, this is a very sexual book and has a few twists and turns. I did find it quite unrealistic that a child like Alessandra would be so worldly and knowledgeable sexually. That aside, I did find the book interesting in the historical area and a different turn on possible events.
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