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The Botticelli Secret by Marina Fiorato
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The Botticelli Secret (2010)

by Marina Fiorato

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (33)  Dutch (1)  All languages (34)
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
I really wanted to like this book. In fact, it was one that I was seriously looking forward to reading after I finished my assigned school summer reading. But all I can say is, what a disappointment. There were so many flaws with this novel, I don't know where to start.

I suppose the thing that initially bothered me was the language. Yes, I understand that she is a whore, but is all of that coarse language really needed? Also, the authenticity of the language really bothered me. I get that it is a work of fiction and since it took place in Italy, they would be speaking Italian and all that jazz, but there was so much anachronistic language. The word 'fuck' was repeated at least one hundred times throughout the novel. Yes, call me a geek, but I looked it up because it didn't sit correctly with me, and the word didn't even appear in the English language until the early 1500s and didn't have the connotation with which we use it and Fiorato uses it until much, much later. This novel was set in the 1480s. Also, there was so much slang. "friggin," "pits" (instead of armpits), "in a pickle," and "shut my trap." I'm about 99.9% sure that these weren't invented until much later. Maybe I'm just being overly picky, but it was difficult for me to get into the novel with all of this modern day slang.

Another thing that really bothered me was the whole plot behind the painting. I understand that The DaVinci Code wasn't anything near accurate, but it was rather believable. Just the way that they put all of this meaning into the painting really bothered me. And then, I may have been willing to go along with the entire thing, except for the plot that was revealed-- they were trying to unite Italy to be one empire. Sorry? This just seemed too historical and almost mundane for there to be an entire novel with characters embarking on a quest to save their homes from a dire end.

Again with the plot, a common Italian whore ends up to be the dogressa's daughter? And the doge and dogressa just take her in as if nothing has happened? Sorry, but even family love didn't extend that far in these times. If you slept with someone that you really loved but then didn't end up marrying them, that was considered a scandal and you couldn't be married and your family would disown you. I can't imagine a royal family taking her back, much less marrying her off to another noble, while pretending she is a virgin, even though her betrothed knows her past. And then when after all of that, the man she loves, who almost took Holy Orders, just accepts the fact that she isn't pure and even jokes about it on their wedding night? I don't think so.

Finally, the epilogue. I feel like they wouldn't wait until 9 years later to have a child. Yeah, it is pretty much impossible for whores to get pregnant and deliver a healthy child after all of their STDs and whatnot, but waiting nine years to have a kid? She would be 28, which is almost elderly in their standards. You had children before you were 20. And then the real kicker-- her tutor was Christopher Columbus! How great is that?! You can't mix history with all of this crap.

Yes, I'm being way to harsh on this novel, I know. It's just that I had such high hopes for it. The description seemed promising and I couldn't wait to read it, but it just turned out to be one of the worst books I have read in a very, very long time.

What a disappointment. ( )
  serogers02 | Jun 10, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
When Luciana Vetra unthinkingly purloins a small work of art following a modeling session with Sandro Botticelli (yes, THAT Botticelli), she is suddenly thrust into a race for her life, not to mention that of a hapless young monk unluckily entangled in her troubles. As they both flee assassins through the streets of Florence and beyond, they realize that the canvas was not merely a painting, but a message portending an imminent political plot of momentous proportions.

A lady of the night by trade, Luciana is a brazen and rather charming heroine with questionable acquaintances and a candid, colorful vocabulary. The Botticelli Secret is at once a thriller, a mystery and a love story. ( )
  ryner | Mar 7, 2017 |
2.5 stars
Second half of the book much better than the first half. ( )
  Andrew-theQM | Jun 29, 2016 |
I couldn't bring myself to finish this novel. The so called heroine is a prostitute who manages to elicit zero sympathy -- her words and thoughts are vulgar and crude, and her budding relationship with a novice monk completely unbelievable. ( )
  Melissa_J | Jan 16, 2016 |
The settings and characters in this story were wonderful. The mix of history and mystery were fascinating too. I loved the heroine though it was hard to believe she could only be 16. It was all a bit overly dramatic and fantastic but I think it was not really meant to be taken too seriously. The idea of the coded message in the painting started to wear a bit thin eventually because it seemed anyone who needed to know anything already did, so the point of the code was lost, at least to me.
Apart from this, my only other quibble is with the use of profane language in a way that just seemed unnecessary. I am fine with this in context but it just became jarring in this story.
All in all a great romp - I had to find out how it all ended - always a good sign. ( )
  rosiezbanks | May 19, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marina Fioratoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bader, NinaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Voor mijn moeder, Barbara Fiorato, de eerste die me La Primavera liet zien.
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Florence looks like gold and smells like sulphur.
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Book description
Omtale: Botticellis hemmelighet

Den unge og vakre Luciana Vetra arbeider som modell på deltid og hore på heltid. Da hun blir spurt om å stå modell som gudinnen Flora i Sandro Botticellis maleri La Primavera, samarbeider hun gjerne - helt til kunstneren sender henne på dør uten betaling. Hun blir fornærmet og stjeler en uferdig versjon av maleriet - men hun finner snart ut at noen er villig til å drepe henne for å få det tilbake. Luciana bestemmer seg for å søke hjelp hos den eneste mannen som aldri har forsøkt å utnytte skjønnheten hennes, bror Guido della Torre, en novise ved Santa Croce-klosteret. Sammen flykter de fra Firenze og videre gjennom ni betydningsfulle byer i renessansens Italia, mens de forsøker å løse maleriets gåte
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312606362, Paperback)

In this exhilarating cross between The Da Vinci Code and The Birth of Venus, an irrepressible young woman in 15th-century Italy must flee for her life after stumbling upon a deadly secret when she serves as a model for Botticelli...
When part-time model and full-time prostitute Luciana Vetra is asked by one of her most exalted clients to pose for a painter friend, she doesn't mind serving as the model for the central figure of Flora in Sandro Botticelli's masterpiece "Primavera." But when the artist dismisses her without payment, Luciana impulsively steals an unfinished version of the painting--only to find that somone is ready to kill her to get it back. 
What could possibly be so valuable about the picture? As friends and clients are slaughtered around her, Luciana turns to the one man who has never desired her beauty, novice librarian Brother Guido. Fleeing Venice together, Luciana and Guido race through the nine cities of Renaissance Italy, pursued by ruthless foes who are determined to keep them from decoding the painting's secrets.
Gloriously fresh and vivid, with a deliciously irreverent heroine, The Botticelli Secret is an irresistible blend of history, wit, and suspense.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:12 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When the painter Botticelli doesn't pay Luciana Vetra for her work as one of his models, she steals an unfinished painting. After people around her start dying--murdered by someone who wants the painting and its secrets back--Luciana goes on the run, looking for answers.… (more)

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