The Botticelli Secret by Marina Fiorato
Published: St. Martin's Griffin (2010)
Pages: 528 pages
Source: Borrowed from library
Luciana Vetra is making her way through the world by working the streets of Venice. And when her best client ask her to pose for Sandro Botticelli, a local artist, Luciana obliges. She spends a few hours modeling, making small talk with the artist and then, as she leaves, steals a small miniature of the painting she posed for--La Primavera.
Worst. Mistake. Ever.
Within hours of the theft, the two people closest to Lucia are murdered and Luciana is forced to ask for help from a humble monk, Brother Guido. They escape and upon examining the miniature, they unravel a plot involving all the city-states of Italy. They travel across the country, gathering clues. When all is made clear, Luciana and Guido find themselves on opposite sides of Italy with one goal in mind. They must reunite and save the victim of La Primavera.
My thoughts: This book combined all of my favorite things--traveling, art and history. La Primavera is one of my favorite paintings and while in Europe I studied some of Botticelli's works for my Italian Renaissance class. Italy wasn't on my itinerary, but in Fiorato's book, one can travel the country before it became the united Italia. Traveling from Venice, Lucia and Guido visit Pisa, Florence, Rome and other cities in Italy.
Fiorato's use of the painting was wonderful and the plot was amazing. Luciana and Guido are my favorite type of characters--they have a great love/hate relationship. They struggle throughout the novel to find ways to communicate, as well as trust one another. Destiny seems set on pulling them apart, but at each new locale they are driven closer together.
This is a great novel for anyone who loves art, Italy or historical fiction.
Rating: 5 Stars