Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Painter's Apprentice: A Novel of 16th-Century Venice (Review & Giveaway!)

I finally had a chance to read the long-awaited novel by Laura Morelli. Oh wow, I loved this one! Check out my review and then enter the giveaway to win your own copy.

Book Details:

Book Title: The Painter's Apprentice: A Novel of 16th-Century Venice
Author: Laura Morelli
Category: Adult Fiction, 482 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: The Scriptorium
Release date: November 15, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (some adult situations but no sex or explicit violence)

Book Description:

Would you rather sacrifice your livelihood, your lover, or your life? When the Black Death comes knocking on your door, you’d better decide quickly.

Venice, 1510. Maria Bartolini wants nothing more than to carry on her father’s legacy as a master gilder. Instead, her father has sent her away from the only home she’s ever known to train as an apprentice to Master Trevisan, a renowned painter.

When the painter’s servants uncover the real reason why Maria has been sent away, they threaten to reveal a secret that could tear down her family and the future of their trade. She is forced to buy the servants’ silence, but as their greed steadily grows, Maria resorts to more desperate measures. She questions whether her heart’s desire is worth risking her family, her trade, and her future, but Maria’s sacrifices may amount to nothing if the plague arrives on her father’s doorstep before she is able to get back home.

From the author of the award-winning The Gondola Maker comes a rich tale of Renaissance Venice, a heroine with a lust for life, and love against all odds.
My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

Laura Morelli's The Painter's Apprentice is a real treat for lovers of historical fiction and Renaissance art. It has drama, star-crossed lovers, and the beauty of art set in the midst of the terrible time in history when the black plague ravaged Europe. I was swept away to medieval Venice into the life of Maria Bartolini, the trained daughter of a gilding master, who is sent away to train as an apprentice to a painter. As the story unravels, we get to understand the real reason Maria was sent away. She is in love with what society deems the wrong person and has all odds against her that she will ever see him again.
The pages flew by as I became more and more immersed into Maria's life. She was caught in several difficult situations and the conflict built suspense in this dramatic unfolding of a young woman living at a time in history where little choice was given to women but to marry well and have children. I felt Maria's vulnerability keenly, but I also felt her inner strength and determination to seek and pursue what and who she loved in life.
It is evident that Morelli's art history background makes this novel rich with the descriptive details of Renaissance artwork, especially that of gilding with gold leaf and its processes in the production of beautiful artwork still present in many of the Churches today. I found this aspect of the novel fascinating as it was weaved into the tale of Maria's life.
The Italian expressions used in the novel were correct (I cannot tell you how many times I come across wrong Italian words or verb tenses in books set in Italy) and added authenticity to the setting. I loved this novel and consider it one of the best books I've read this year. From the book cover to the title and everything in between, The Painter's Apprentice is a fine piece of literature. If you love historical fiction and Renaissance Italy, you will want to add this book to your reading list. It's a gem.
Disclosure: I was given a complimentary copy. I was not told how to rate or review this novel. All opinions are my own.

Buy the Book:

Meet the Author:

LAURA MORELLI holds a Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, has taught college students in the U.S. and in Italy, and currently produces art history lessons for TED-Ed. She authored a column for National Geographic Traveler called “The Genuine Article” and has contributed pieces about art and authentic travel to CNN Radio, The Frommers Travel Show, and in USA TODAY, Departures, and other media. Laura is the author of the Authentic Arts guidebook series that includes the popular book Made in Italy. Her fiction brings the stories of art history to life. Her debut novel, The Gondola Maker, won an IPPY for Best Historical Fiction and a Benjamin Franklin Award.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

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Ends Nov 25

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  1. I’ve never read any historical fiction so i’m not familiar with it but this sounds so interesting. I could see why you loved it so much. Awesome review and thanks for the giveaway. ❤️😁

  2. I loved your review, Laura. I wish now that I would have r viewed it also, considering that I enjoyed this suthor’s other books.


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