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Alessandra Cecchi is not quite fifteen when her father a prosperous cloth merchant brings a young painter back from northern Europe to decorate the chapel walls in the family’s Florentine palazzo A child of the Renaissance with a precocious mind and a talent for drawing Alessandra is intoxicated by the painter’s abilitiesBut their burgeoning relationship is interrupted when Alessandra’s parents arrange her marriage to a wealthy much older man Meanwhile Florence is changing increasingly subject to the growing suppression imposed by the fundamentalist monk Savonarola who is seizing religious and political control Alessandra and her native city are caught between the Medici state with its love of luxury learning and dazzling art and the hellfire preaching and increasing violence of Savonarola’s reactionary followers Played out against this turbulent backdrop Alessandra’s married life is a misery except for the surprising freedom it allows her to pursue her powerful attraction to the young painter and his art The Birth of Venus is a tour de force the first historical novel from one of Britain’s most innovative writers of literary suspense It brings alive the history of Florence at its most dramatic period telling a compulsively absorbing story of love art religion and power through the passionate voice of Alessandra a heroine with the same vibrancy of spirit as her beloved city


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    After reading this for the second time I wish I could give it higher than five stars I discovererd new things about this book that I hadn't caught before Such a wonderful book and I can't wait to read it for the third timeThis is an absolutely amazing book The author has done a lot of research and it shows in her writing This is a historical fiction The imagery is wonderful and you really get wrapped up in the lives of the Character Now that I have been studying Mythology I would like to read it again and see what mythic images I can get from it based on Botticelli's painting