This is a very nice book and I was intrigued to watch myself make time to listen to it beyond my normal hours of listening.
The time setting of the book is very interesting to me, and the author did a great job portraying life at the time.
What I feel is the great bonus in the book is the author's portrayal of Savonarola, who was a priest who turned Florence against itself to the point even great artists burned their art because it was a sacrilege towards God. Here is a "Man of God" who managed to make it look like God was against great art. Savonarola's logic was exquisite and we should watch out for such public manipulation in the present and future days.
This book was a little hard to get into and understand in the beginning but it soon took off. This book wound its way through historical events with an intriguing and romantic story. I could barely put it down, especially the second half.
After reading the great reviews here and on other sites I was looking forward to this. I thought the story was only so-so and the narrator was nothing fantastic. How stereotypical - a super smart, head strong girl in an age that has no use for smart women, marriage to a guy who ends up being gay (no big spoiler - you can see this one coming a mile away), a black female slave who is also very smart and not to be treated like a menial and an understanding mother. The parts that dealt with Florence in the late 15th century were interesting. If I'd gotten the audio from the library I probably would have taken it back without finishing it.
This saga of a girl's life in the 15th century Florence is beautfully presented by the author. She gives an accurate description of Florence as well as present an entertaining story at the same time.
After reading the publisher's comments and the other reviews, I had no idea that this was going to be a trashy romance novel. Unless that's what you like, I'd avoid this one.
The reader can't keep her character's voices straight which is annoying but more annoying is the poor rendition of the main character by the author. The ending was ridiculous.
This reader is so awful I finally had to quit listening. She has a soft, young American voice (for an Italian Renaissance narrator?) and can't do different characters or different tones of voice. The story becomes a bland mush. What a shame.