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I, Mona Lisa by Jeanne Kalogridis"My name is Lisa di Antonio Gherardini Giocondo, though to acquaintances, I am known simply as Madonna Lisa. My story begins not with my birth but a murder, committed the year before I was born…"
Florence, April 1478: The handsome Giuliano de' Medici is brutally assassinated in Florence's magnificent Duomo. The shock of the murder ripples throughout the great city, from the most renowned artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, to a wealthy wool merchant and his extraordinarily beautiful daughter, Madonna Lisa.More than a decade later, Florence falls under the dark spell of the preacher Savonarola, a fanatic who burns paintings and books as easily as he sends men to their deaths. Lisa, now grown into an alluring woman, captures the heart of Giuliano's nephew and namesake. But when Guiliano, her love, meets a tragic end, Lisa must gather all her courage and cunning to untangle a sinister web of illicit love, treachery, and dangerous secrets that threatens her life.Set against the drama of 15th Century Florence, I, Mona Lisa is painted in many layers of fact and fiction, with each intricately drawn twist told through the captivating voice of Mona Lisa herself.
The Blood of Flowers: A Novel by Anita Amirrezvani
In 17th-century Persia, a 14-year-old woman believes she will be married within the year. But when her beloved father dies, she and her mother find themselves alone and without a dowry. With nowhere else to go, they are forced to sell the brilliant turquoise rug the young woman has woven to pay for their journey to Isfahan, where they will work as servants for her uncle, a rich rug designer in the court of the legendary Shah Abbas the Great.
Despite her lowly station, the young woman blossoms as a brilliant designer of carpets, a rarity in a craft dominated by men. But while her talent flourishes, her prospects for a happy marriage grow dim. Forced into a secret marriage to a wealthy man, the young woman finds herself faced with a daunting decision: forsake her own dignity, or risk everything she has in an effort to create a new life.
"Anita Amirrezvani has written a sensuous and transporting first novel filled with the color s, tastes and fragrances of life in seventeenth-century Isfahan...Amirrezvani clearly knows and loves the ways of old Iran, and brings them to life with the cadences of a skilled story-spinner." -- Geraldine Brooks, author of March
"An engrossing, enthralling tale of a girl's quest for self-determination in the
fascinating other world that was seventeenth-century Iran." -- Emma Donoghue,
author of Touchy Subjects and Life Mask
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Here is a small fact-- you are going to die. 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier. Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.
The Red Tent: A Novel by Anita Diamant
A decade after the publication of this hugely popular international bestseller, Picador
releases the tenth anniversary edition of The Red Tent.
Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour
within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that tell of her father, Jacob,
and his twelve sons.
Told in Dinah's voice, Anita Diamant imagines the traditions and turmoils of ancient
womanhood--the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of the mothers--Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah--the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through childhood, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah's story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past.
Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women's lives.
by camiam81June 16 at 3:16 PM
I too love Phillipa Gregory. Lately I've been reading a lot of Catherine Coulter. I'm not sure I'd classify it as historical fiction, romance, or fantasy; but I am enjoying it.