Sarah Dunant has brought Renaissance Italy alive in her first two historical novels and now adds a third.
accompanied by her dwarf companion, Bucino. The complicated relationship between Fiammetta and Bucino, who narrates the novel, is central to the plot as they rebuild their lives in a new city. Their story will seduce you as surely as Fiametta seduces her wealthy patrons.
Dunant’s third historical, Sacred Hearts(2009), revisits the world of the convent that was touched on in The Birth of Venus. In 16th century Italy young girls entered a convent for many reasons besides religious ones. Serafina feels convent life is more a form of imprisonment, orchestrated by her father to separate her from a forbidden romance. Her rebellious nature reminds the convent’s doctor of her own youth, as she tries to interest Serafina in the medicinal arts.
If you enjoy strong women characters and rich historical background, these novels will prove to be satisfying reads.