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Beyond Measure

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  29 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
The artistic world of mid-16th Century Italy comes to life through the eyes of a piebald slave stolen from her home and family in Africa.

Chiara, as she is eventually named, is sold to Paolo Pallavicino, an artist in service of Giuliano de Medici. When several unfortunate incidents occur, the artist's wife believes her to be a curse and demands that she be sent away. From

Paperback, 355 pages
Published December 17th 2003 by Cormorant Books (first published June 2003)
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May 11, 2015 Andrea rated it really liked it
Pauline Holdstock's novel, Beyond Measure, takes place in Italy in the 1500s, and spirals around the main characters Paolo, Orazio, his daughter and assistant Sofonisba, Ceccio the land lord, Matteo Tassi, Alessandro and Caterina, the slave girl. Each character has a desire to be appreciated, if not seen.

Paolo, an artist, treats human subjects like objects; he searches for the inanimate flesh to make it come alive once again in his art. He cannot see beyond his own flesh and, therefore, has a co
Sep 01, 2011 Dorothy rated it really liked it
This author has to be one of the most imaginative, descriptive authors there is. Characters are developed in exquisite detail, and parts of the plot stretch the limits of society's norms to the point of shock. The theme of the search for perfection, beauty and knowledge is developed throughout the book, and in the end one questions whether the end justifies the means. I think this is a book that will stay with me for awhile.
QUOTE: “The air is balmy and sweet and all along the road the traveller is assaulted by new fragrances the warm breeze has stirred. At least those are the words of his song, though here in Via del Rosaio the fragrance is an underlying blend of boiled cabbage and shit beneath the stink of the tanneries that wafts up from the river.” [p. 98]
Sep 01, 2014 Mary rated it it was amazing
a slave in 16th century Italy. This book was absolutely fascinating for the period it was set in; the characters were painters and sculptors with incredible talent and a piebald slave who did as she was told... A great read.
Barbara Slater
May 26, 2015 Barbara Slater rated it liked it
Enjoyed the setting and time line plus the descriptive narrative but something was missing. I'm not sure what it was.
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Pauline Holdstock is a Canadian citizen who has lived in Canada for over thirty years. She writes novels, short fiction and essays. Her books have been published in the U.K, the U.S., Brazil, Portugal, Australia and Germany, as well as in Canada, where CBC’s 'The Arts Tonight' has featured her work.

Pauline’s short fiction has appeared in numerous literary magazines.

Into the Heart of the Country,
More about Pauline Holdstock...

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