Thursday, November 18, 2010

"The Smile" by Donna Jo Napoli (Book Thoughts)

First of all, I need to thank my good friend Courtney Rene, for recommending I read this author's books.

The "Mona Lisa" is one of DaVinci's most famous painting.  It's also a mystery.  Who is the young girl?  Why is she smiling?

"The Smile" is the tale of 15 year old Elisabetta.  Elisabetta will soon be betrothed to one of Florence, Italy's nobles.  She hopes her future husband will be young and romantic instead of an old widower a fate many of the young girls her age have accepted.

The author tells of Monna Elisabetta's life in Renaissance Italy.  Her everyday life, dreams of romance, and heartbreaking losses are intertwined with Leonardo DaVinci (who promises to paint her someday), the Medici Family (whose reign of importance is on the verge of collapse) and beautiful, artistic 15th century Florence (which is going to change drastically).

Like Ms. Napoli, I was never fond of history while I was a student, but am fascinated by other cultures and their stories.  Donna Jo Napoli merges culture and fascinating facts in her fictional stories.  She entertains us while piquing our curiosity to learn more.

I'm looking forward to devouring another of her books.