The Birth of Venus – Sarah Dunant

An excellent historical novel, evoking the crazy days of Savonarola’s reign in early renaissance Florence, subtly weaving together the early, less well known, years of well known historical figures with intruiging fictional characters.

As one of the Amazon reviewers puts it:

The beginning is extremely gripping – when I read it I thought ‘wow – who is this nun who decided to fake a breast tumour, commit suicide and had an erotic silver serpent tattooed all over her body??’ What on earth can she have gone through, what kind of person was she before she became a nun?’

I read this (morning, noon and night!) on the recommendation of Karen Grimshaw after I’d given her The Lady and the Unicorn for her birthday. We shared the delights of Lymond and Niccolo at St Andrews, and Karen reckons Sarah Dunant isn’t far off Dorothy Dunnett status. Hurrah!

Such a shame that The Birth of Venus is a stand-alone novel, and Sarah Dunant’s other books seem to be modern day detective fiction…. let’s hope there are more where it came from.

Buy it: Amazon link