Once again, I found an historical fiction novel of Italy which transported me back to the Renaissance and all it’s intriguing twists and turns. The Botticelli Secret by Marina Fiorato is a page-turning story that scrutinizes The Primavera by Sandro Botticelli because it holds clues for members of a secret group led by the powerful elite of Italy. The heroine, Luciana, is on the run after having stolen a cartone (or practice sketch) of the painting. Someone is out to get her because they are afraid she will discover the secret hidden within the painting itself. She doesn’t know who to turn to for help and protection, and finds the least-likely person whom she feels she can trust – a young monk about ready to take his final vows! Together they embark on an adventure that takes them to many corners of Italy – from Naples in the South, to Bolzano in the North. The language in the book is a bit brash, but given the source of the first person narrative, it is acceptable! As with all historical fiction books, I always try to find the truth within these stories and perhaps discover new things. The descriptions of places in Rome, Bolzano, Milan, Venice and Florence were all familiar to me. Unfortunately, I have yet to visit Naples or Genoa, but this book has given me one more reason to go (as if I needed any more enticement!) But most of all, I want to once again see Botticelli’s The Primavera and view it through the eyes of the author!
I wonder if the plot has some truth to it since it did finally happen (only a couple of hundred years later)!!! Perhaps this was the impetus…Chissa….