Read: The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
Drinking: Wild Blueberry Fruit Tea, Bar Harbor Tea Company
As a disclaimer, this is a book that I voluntarily read but regretted. I have read many, many books for school that I wish I had never read! Also, usually I don’t finish books that I am not enjoying, unless it is for school (glad to be finished with that). However, with The Birth of Venus, I kept reading. Part of the reason was that I was convinced that the book would become interesting eventually.
Dunant missed an opportunity to make an interesting story about religion, feminism, and art. Instead, the book is plodding and pointlessly provocative. The setting of Renaissance Florence had so much potential, particularly with the fundamentalist Catholic backlash lead by Savonarola featuring heavily in the plot. Sadly, these fascinating historical events are turned boring by Dunant’s writing and lack of real plot. The “coming-of-age” plot, the romance, even a serial killer, are treated as a checklist with no real coherence or connection to the main characters.
If you are looking for a good novel about the Renaissance, this is not it.