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Daughter Of Venice

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  2,518 Ratings  ·  184 Reviews
It is 1592 in Venice and Donata Mocenigo, younger daughter to one of the city's great noble families, leads a life full of wealth and privilege. But she feels constricted by the many strict rules of etiquette a young noblewoman must observe, and longs to throw off her veil.
Paperback, 264 pages
Published December 1st 2006 by Not Avail (first published January 1st 2001)
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(showing 1-30)
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Christina Baehr
Almost 4 stars...

This book went in a different, better direction than I expected from what looked to be a typical YA story: adolescent 16th century noblewoman chafes under her restrictive lot, dresses as a boy to experience life more fully, finds enlightenment.

This book was better than I expected for 3 main reasons.

1. Family. The author paints a picture of upper class Venetian family life that is full of genuine affection, interest and vitality. Donata, the heroine, is one of 12 children. It is
Oct 14, 2008 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who enjoys action and conflict
Usually, I do not enjoy Historical Fiction novels, but Daughter of Venice was an exception. The author, Donna Jo Napoli, did a tremendous job explaining the setting and characters, making the plot and characters come to life. I found myself predicting throughout the entire book, there was a lot of action and twists.
The story was about a fourteen year old girl, Donata, who lives during the 1590s in Venice. She is a noble daughter, and in noble families only one daughter and son may marry. Althoug
I really wanted to like this book more than I did, and wish that I could give a 2.5 star rating instead of 3. The book was hard to get through for a few reasons. The first being that the protagonist, Donata, seemed to waver between a bratty child a and a witty teen. Her character is 14 years old, but her voice often appeared as that of an 11 year old. While the random facts/lessons on Venetian history were interesting, not all of the facts were pertinent(thought interesting) to the telling of Do ...more
I'd heard good things about this book, and it didn't let me down. Donna Jo Napoli has written a vivid, well-researched coming-of-age story set in Venice in the 1590s. There's a scene in the very first chapter in which our young heroine ventures into a forbidden map room that beautifully evokes a sense of excitement and enchantment; from that moment I knew I was in good hands.

But the story also had a lot to recommend it as well. Of course, Napoli was writing from a modern humanist and feminist vi
Lauren James
Jan 05, 2011 Lauren James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another of my favourite books alongside THE THIEF LORD set in Venice, because that’s clearly My Thing, this is a historical novel about a rich girl who sneaks out of her house to flirt with a cute Jewish boy who teaches her to write. I got this out of the library about three times when I was fourteen.

This is set in Venice in 1592, where Donata is a noble girl stifled by convention, who dresses as a boy to explore the city. She finds her way to the Jewish district, and meets a boy called Noe, who
This is... okay. Enjoyable, but, and I hate to say it, pretty predictable. When I was a kid, Donna Jo Napoli always had these really clever twists that threw me. I can't tell if I grew up or if this was just an off book, but I could tell where this was going the whole time.

I do want to give her props for not resolving the romance the way she could, and in fact backgrounding it as much as she could. Still, overall, the resolution felt-- convienent, and obvious, and the whole story felt ever so s
Feb 20, 2017 Luna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Little plot and an abrupt ending, but very pretty descriptions and historical aspect.
May 29, 2011 Candice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first, this book did not seem as enticing as the ever dramatic Red Necklace. (I got them together at the library, recommended by my sis.) But after reading deep into it, I realized it was as intense and sad as Red Necklace was.
It's a story of a young noble girl named Donata living in Venice a long time ago. It's a custom that only the oldest daughter of the family gets the privilege to marry, but Laura (Donata's twin) and Donata's only dream is to marry just like Andriana (the oldest).
Dec 21, 2010 Alessandria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Annabelle Amber
Sep 25, 2011 Annabelle Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could write a proper review someday, with character analysis and everything, but you'll just have to settle with this.
Donata was a REAL PERSON (not REAL real, but PERSONALITY real. This is really important if you want your readers to not burn your book.)
She had fire.
She had guts.
She was a girl pretending to be a boy pretending to be a girl pretending to be a boy.
She was awesome.

Her awesomeness radiated from the pages as I read, and I wanted to be in 1592 Ve
Tara Chevrestt
This was an average YA historical novel. I don't really have much to say about it because I wasn't "wowed" by it nor did I dislike it. It follows Donata in 1592 Venice. She is one of many daughters in a noble family in a time when dowries were of great import. Basically all the dowry money is going towards marrying off her older sister so Donata and her female siblings are looking at life in a convent stuck inside looking out all the time.

Donata dons the attire of a fisher boy and runs the stre
Oct 01, 2011 Melrose rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was such BAD book maybe the author should stop writing!I didn't like that the main character, who was 14, acted like an 10 year old. I am sorry, but she was sooooo annoying. She was crying she couldn't get married, but when she finally can marry someone she doesn't want to. Second all this history made me feel like i am in school......not that i hate school as much as this book. Some pages it was just history. Third the author got her facts all mixed up. She said that Albrecht Durer was Dut ...more
Sep 18, 2010 Natalie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the writing but it was too off for me. I'm a 14 year old but i feel like the charater really is 11 and immature. Also i couldn't finish it because it made me rediculously mad that women had such a restricted range of rights. I don't know....I'm not a feminist or anything but it eas all i could think about as i was reading and i didn't keep my attention. So, I didn't like it, especially the end (Isipped ahead and read only little parts here and there) because i felt like it was too ...more
I happened upon this book on night when I was terribly bored. I had nothing to read so searching the downstairs bookshelf I picked up this book. I Had picked it up many times before but never started to read it. So I decided to give it a chance. I loved it.
Jaycee Dillingham
Oct 13, 2014 Jaycee Dillingham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I REALLY LOVE THIS BOOK! I only rated it 4 stars because Donata never got to marry the person that she loved.
May 06, 2016 Ryan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't really like the theme of the book and had trouble keeping interested.
Oct 17, 2016 Kaye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was better than I expected. Though the characters were quite young, I was captivated with their story. The customs of Venice were fascinating. Donata aroused my sympathies. I am thankful to live in a time when education for women is both available and encouraged.
Lucy March
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aicha Lonergan
May 29, 2016 Aicha Lonergan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Daughter of Venice is a very intriguing book, written by Donna Jo Napoli. The story takes place in Venice where the main character, Donata lives with her family in the families Palazzo on Venice’s grand canal. The story begins when Donata is with her little sister Paolina in their bed in the morning. The problem arises when Donata realizes that her and her twin sister will both get married since they are twins and normal noble families are only aloud to marry two of their eldest daughters, while ...more
Sep 06, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vicki Kondelik
Jan 30, 2016 Vicki Kondelik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Daughter of Venice by Donna Jo Napoli is a wonderful young adult novel set in Venice in the 1590s. Donata Mocenigo, the fourteen-year-old daughter of a noble family with twelve children, lives a sheltered life. She has never been taught to read and write, and she rarely leaves her family’s palazzo, except in the company of her mother and sisters. Because her family can afford a dowry for only one daughter—her oldest sister Andriana—Donata and her sisters will be forced to join a convent. Donata ...more
Feb 23, 2014 Tomaj18 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, I thought the Daughter of Venice was an ok book! it wasn't the best but not the worst.The main character Donata, receives no education, can never be out of her parents eye sight, and is the oldest daughter of a noble family in Venice, Italy. She has 4 sisters and 7 brothers. She has very strict parents and they have high expectations from her. Donata's sisters convince her to leave the palazzo by dressing up as a poor boy so she can explore.

There are some parts I though the author co
Oct 05, 2014 Pavit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: feminists, third world citizens, women still fighting for their well-deserved freedom
I didn't expect to love this book the way I did.
Coming from a Third World country, I understand the helplessness that overwhelms the main character, Donata, because of the constraints society put on her for having the terrible misfortune of being born with breasts and a vagina. I get how trapped and frustrated you can feel when opportunities that your brothers take for granted are denied to you, when you don't know the nooks and corners of your beloved city, when you see men all around you tal
(This review also appears on

This is the captivating tale of bold, brash noblewoman Donata, a teenager desperate to obtain some degree of freedom in 15th Century Venice before she is ultimately shipped away to join a convent by her strictly traditional family.

Eager to learn and explore her home city of which she can only imagine through maps, paintings and stories told by her uncles and elder brothers, Donata knows that her future and that of her younger sisters also, is entirely pl
Quick, well-researched semi-historical fiction for young readers. The general characterization was pretty good, and it loved the strong sense of family throughout the book. Even when the main character is being, by modern standards, oppressed and marginalized, her family (even her brothers, who do not really understand her delimma) shows her love and support in their own quiet little ways. I only downgrade this book because first, it felt like a chunk of time- a whole month! A very significant m ...more
The culture of 1592 Venice restricts noble girls’ lives to palazzos, and limits their education to music, handwork, and child care. Marriage offers little prospect of escape, since to preserve wealth, usually only the eldest noble children marry; surplus girls go into convents. Fourteen-year-old Donata resents these limitations, and determines that before the convent, she will at least learn something of her own city. Dressing as a boy, she takes her first steps into an unknown world, and change ...more
Michael Kemp
Daughter of Venice is an interesting story about a pampered Renaissance noble, Donata, in Venice. She is not content with a lot of the norms that there are in her society (such as only one daughter and one son can marry). She always hears of life from other people, but she never experiences it herself. She decides to disguise herself as a poor boy, and she finds herself in the Jewish ghetto and makes a friend who gives her a job as a scribe, even though she doesn't know how to read.
She ends up l
Donata and her sister, Laura, are the 2nd and 3rd daughters born to a wealthy Venetian family during the Renaissance. Custom decrees that only the 1st and possibly 2nd daughters in a family may marry. All others are sent off to convents when they come of age. Donata doesn't particularly want to marry anyone, but she definitely doesn't want to be stuck in a convent, where she will never learn about the world. She especially wants to learn to read and write and understand her dear city, just like ...more
Aug 01, 2008 Angelina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
This book, Daughter of Venice, is about a 14 year old girl, Donata, who lives in Venice, Italy in the 16th century who does not think like most girls of her time. She wants an education, she wants to go outside her palazzo and have fun and adventures. But girls of noble families in Venice at this time did not go outside their homes without at least their mother with them, they were not educated, they were not encouraged to be curious or to do much of anything other than marry and have children. ...more
Donata is the 16-year-old daughter of a Venetian noble. She has 7 brothers and 4 sisters. Her oldest sister, Andriana, will be the one to marry. One sister will be the one who stays home to care for the eventual nieces and nephews. The rest of the girls? They will all go to convents.

Donata does not want to go to a convent. The idea of being shut up for the rest of her life makes her crazy. But then, a miracle! A suitable husband is found for Donata as well! But wait, Donata does not want to marr
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From her website:

Donna Jo Napoli is both a linguist and a writer of children's and YA fiction.

Donna Jo has five children. She dreams of moving to the woods and becoming a naturalist. She loves to garden and bake bread.

At various times her house and yard have been filled with dogs, cats, birds, and rabbits. For thirteen years she had a cat named Taxi, and liked to go outside and call, "Taxi!" to
More about Donna Jo Napoli...

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