Saturday, June 21, 2008
Primavera, by Mary Jane Beaufrand
Flora will never have the marital bliss of her sister Domenica or even her mother's affection, but unlike her sister or mother, she enjoys the freedom to come and go around her family's estate Pazzi Palazzo. It is the late 15th century and the setting is Florence. Two of the world's most powerful families (the Pazzi and the Medici) are locked in a bloody conflict that is tearing the city - and Flora's future -- apart. In the chaos that ensues, Flora has to find the strength to survive and help the few people that she can.
Historical novels are drab affairs and ones that are based on true events even more so, but this one actually works as both a bit of stirring action-adventure and as coming-of-age story. There are no deep sentiments here and the too-good-to-be-true ending grates at me a bit, but the novel is still excellent summer reading. So, if you need some period escapist lit, this one is for you!