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The Madonna of the Almonds

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  703 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Young widow Simonetta tries to rebuild her family in 16th century Saronno, Lombardy. In pursuit of a means to keep her estate together, she stumbles upon a new drink made by infusing almonds into alcohol. At the same time, she encounters the talented Bernardino, the protege of Leonardo da Vinci."
Paperback, 371 pages
Published 2009 by Beautiful Books (first published January 2006)
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Italian Fiction
35th out of 108 books — 87 voters
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Art & Artists in Fiction
200th out of 411 books — 678 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,179)
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Fernanda
:):)

antes de mais esta historia vale mais que as 5* para mim vale "infinito"*
uma historia que no mínimo me deixou, tipo "afinal do que se fala aqui"?

a acção torna-se rápida, a trama fluida, a historia conta a "historia".

numa Itália renascentista onde a Santa Inquisição começa a despontar, o crime que é "amar", a bravura dos que afinal não querem ser meros peões de uma idelologia de fachada, torna-se o cerne de historia.

Afinal quem tem a pureza de sentimentos corresponde, acarinha e faz valer ess
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Kelly
Two parallel stories of love, loss and growing up. Simonetta is a widow at 17, and her dead husband has left her broke, so in order to save her house she agrees to pose as Madonna for artist Bernardino Luini who is painting a religious fresco in her local church. Peasant orphan Amaria is being raised by a kind woman she calls Nonna, and when she tells Nonna of the strange wild man in the woods, Nonna goes to look for him and takes him into their home. On the verge of death, the man they call Sel ...more
Neide Parafitas
Encantador... é como definiria este livro!!! :)

A história inicia-se com Simonetta di Saronno, uma jovem que aos 17 anos se vê viúva de Lorenzo, que morreu em combate. Pouco tempo depois descobre que está falida e numa tentativa de salvar a casa do seu marido, recorre a Manodorata, um judeu que a aconselha a procurar uma forma de ganhar algum dinheiro.

Entretanto, Bernardino Luini, um aprendiz de Leonardo da Vinci, que se torna também num grande pintor fica deslumbrado com Simonetta e convida-a pa
...more
Irein
След "Стъкларят от Мурано","Тайната на Ботичели" и "Дъщерята на Сиена",Марина Фиорато ме изкуши с "Мадоната на бадемите".Обичам тази Италия,обрисувана в страниците на романите й-звуци,вкусове,цветове,имена,пейзажи и изкуство се сглобяват като парченца от пъзел във въображението ми и ме приканват да чуя вълничките,които се разбиват във Венеция или да усетя горчивият вкус на бадемите в Сароно.
Историята описва живота на млада Симонета ди Сароно ,която губи съпруга си Лоренцо по време на битка.Със с
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Lidija


Ova mala knjižica čija je priča smještena u Lombardiju 1525. godine me oduševila. Priča je to o Simonetti, udovici , koja je zbog gubitka muža prisiljena boriti se za svoj imetak, jer joj prijeti bankrot.Odlučna je da spasi imanje , te radi sve kako bi se domogla novca, pa tako posuđuje novac od Židova, premda je to za nju veliki rizik, jer se u tadašnje vrijeme svako druženje sa Židovima smatralo grijehom,a tadašnji Židovi su bili proganjani. Da bi zaradila novac, pozira za lik djevice u crkvi
...more
Sx
Wow. This book was pure magic from beginning to end.

Simonetta di Saronno is a young widow, losing her fortune and her husband to the war. Bernardino Luini, an apprentice to the grand Leonardo da Vinci, is a talented painter revelling in the joys of the flesh and wanting to do more besides painting hands. When he first laid eyes on Simonetta, he knew she would be his Madonna and he would possess her. What he didn't realise was how deep his love would be, how much of himself he would reveal and h
...more
Rachael McDiarmid
I'm definitely going to keep my eyes out for Marina Fiorato. I enjoyed The Glassblower of Murano and now this one. It was easy to read and an interesting story. I always love historical novels set in Italy and this was no exception. After reading this I have a yearning for amaretto and would love to learn more about the paintings of Bernardino Luini.
Henrik
As I'm writing this, I've just put the book back on the shelf, and my hands are slightly trembling.
Good Gods of inspiration, what a story! I started reading with no expectations, except a great interest in the italian renaissance and its art. And the book goes on to take me utterly by surprise.
The characters were so real - some of them are actually real people - and I found that I cared deeply about them, a rare experience for me.
In short, there are no words I know that does this book any justic
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Sally
I read this because I enjoyed The Botticelli Secret and found this one by the same author at the library. Some of the reader reviews of the Botticelli Secret were by people who had read the author's earlier books and were disappointed. Having read this book, I can see why. The Botticelli Secret is a romp, high on intrigue and plotting and co-incidence and, although enjoyable, low on believability. If you came to that book after this it would have been a shock, I imagine.

This is much more though
...more
Ana Luisa
Foi uma história interessante, apesar de não ter cativado muito a minha atenção. Não sei porquê, mas muitas vezes dava por mim distraída por outras coisas que nada tinham a ver com a história. Talvez estivesse á espera de algo semelhante ao livro que li antes da autora, O Coração de Murano, mas realmente nada têm a ver. Apesar da minha opinião pessoal, não posso deixar de comentar a forma cuidada que a autora tem em nos apresentar a época renascentista, tal como o modo como os judeus eram cruelm ...more
Jasminka
Simpatično napisana i osmišljena, ljubavna priča sa dosta istoriskih podataka (mada nisam stručnjak u toj oblasti), smeštena u vreme renesansne Italije, u 16-om veku, u samo srce Lombardije. Možda je sama priča pretenciozna, prebajkovita, ali se meni dopala i odmorila me ;)
Джорджия
Nov 08, 2014 Джорджия rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Джорджия by: Нели Въгларова
Книгата вкарва в ренесансова Италия, без никакви грижи. Явно авторката се справя успешно с това. Огромни къщи - замъци, мечове и аркебузи, цъфнали бадемови градини, гербове на градове, църкви, манастири, монахини, преследване на евреи, свещеници, художници /дори и Леонардо да Винчи се появява, макар и за кратко и стои като усещане/, мистични места, коне, деца, сключващи брак на 13-14 и добиващи зрялост на 21. Много добре разказано.

Само малко краят загуби заряда, който беше заложен в цялата книг
...more
Hristina Ivanova
This is such a beautiful book! It was an easy read,but an interesting and intriguing one too! I was so excited to turn the next page,I just couldn't help it! Love is permament element in the book,but the way the story is told makes it even more compelling.I strongly reccomend it.
Alexandra
Gosto muito de romances históricos, principalmente quando os mesmos se desenrolam em cenários pelos quais tenho um especial fraquinho, como é o caso deste livro, passado na Itália Renascentista. Melhor ainda quando vai buscar personagens que existiram mesmo, como é o caso de Bernardino Luini e Simonetta di Saronno. Bem sei que a realidade não é igual à ficção e que a história destes dois foi romanceada para encher as páginas deste livro, mas ainda assim, a sensação é a de que estou a ficar a con ...more
Pöfivonat
Ahhoz képest, hogy Fiorato egyik kevésbé jól sikerült regénye, nekem borzasztóan tetszett. Ha a többi is ilyen, akkor mind KELL. ;)
Eric
Another good read from this author. I liked this one as well. Art, Italy, history, love, tragedy, etc.
Preslava
Цялото ревю на: http://bookcompass.wordpress.com/2014...
„Мадоната на бадемите” на Марина Фиорато разказва историята за създаването на амаретото и едни от най-красивите фрески от Ренесанса. И двата шедьовъра са вдъхновени от най-силната и красива емоция, а именно любовта.Когато Бернардино Луини и Симонета ди Сароно се срещат, нямат представа за последиците, които ще се родят от тяхната любов, която се оказва невъзможна. Но въпреки препятствията, поставени по пътя им, двамата успяват да намерят си
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Maria
A Virgem das Amêndoas retrata, sobretudo, a vida da jovem Simonetta di Saronno desde que ficou viúva de Lorenzo, que morreu em combate. Com a morte do seu marido, Simonetta descobre que está completamente falida visto que Lorenzo havia gasto praticamente todo o dinheiro de ambos para equipar os cavalos e soldados para a guerra. Sozinha, vê-se impotente para pagar todos os gastos inerentes a uma casa enorme, com imensa criadagem e começa a acumular dívidas a criados e comerciantes.
Depois de ter
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Ruth
This book is set in the 1500s, and tells the story of Simonetta di Saronna, a young widow who has lost her husband to the Italian wars, and Bernardino Liuni, a talented but reckless apprentice of Leonardo di Vinci.

I was not sure what to make of this book. Initially I thought I was going to struggle with it, but I did start to enjoy it. However, I never felt that the characters were particularly well drawn, and I was not able to connect on any level with them. The story was interesting enough to
...more
Carla Soares
Começo por uma nota à capa, que acho lindíssima.

Este é o segundo livro da autora que leio, tendo lido primeiro O Coração de Murano. Nessa altura, este seu livro anterior despertou-me curiosidade, e agora descobri que estava certa.

Trata-se de uma fantasia em torno de uma lenda - a do licor de Amaretto - e de figuras reais, como o pintor Bernardino Luini, renascentista e discípulo de Da Vinci, sobre cuja vida, segundo a autora, pouco se sabe. Isso permitiu-lhe algumas liberdades criativas, que ass
...more
Sandra
Simonetta era apenas uma menina quando desposou com Dom Lorenzo di Saronno, outro rapaz cuja visão do mundo ainda é muito restrita.

Quando numa batalha Dom Lorenzo é morto, o véu de engano que cobria os olhos da senhora di Saronno é levantado e ela, que sempre foi acostumada a luxos e grandezas, vê-se na mais pura miséria, com a única solução de ter de batalhar e trabalhar para comer.

A transformação que esta personagem sofreu por causa deste acontecimento trágico fez-me gostar muito mais do que e
...more
Margaret
Marina Fiorato is becoming one of my favourite Historical Fiction authors, for she is just superb in capturing the magical aura of Italy, its luscious sceneries, traditions, while presenting memorable characters, real and fictional.
Bernardino Luini, who learned his art with Leonardo da Vinci, arrives in Saronno to paint the walls of the local church and is fascinated by the beauty of the young widow, Simonetta. He wants her to be the model for the Virgin Mary but she refuses at first. Neverthele
...more
Célia
A Virgem das Amêndoas é um romance histórico, cuja acção decorre na Itália do século XVI, no auge da criação artística renascentista.
Uma das personagens principais deste livro é Bernardino Luini, um pintor do círculo de Leonardo da Vinci que por volta de 1525, ano em que esta história se inicia, se desloca a Saronno (Lombardia) para pintar um fresco na Igreja de Santa Maria dei Miracoli. Lá encontra Simonetta, uma bela e jovem viúva, que se encontra em apuros financeiros e que, como tal, aceita
...more
Preslava Stoyanova
This is actually my favorite of Marina Fiorato's books. The others are much... like mystery books for middle aged women (where early Dan Brown meets chicklit - I guess that's a new genre or something).
So about this book - I love the Amaretto story, I love the twists of the plot, it is not all about Botticelli... Well, it's not Dostoevsky but it's pretty good.
Alison
I have now managed , with pleasure, to read all of Marina Fiorato's books.'Daughter of Siena' and 'The Venetian Contract' were till a month ago my two favourite ones. 'The Madonna of the Almonds' joins them as the top three books of Fiorato's in my opinion. I really loved this one. At times, I wished I had nothing else to do and would have gladly refrained from working and sleeping to finish this one. I enjoyed the two story lines, although I must admit I loved the secondary one more. As usual, ...more
Momkersch
Fiorato bases her book on the myth of the creation of Amaretto, perhaps my favorite liquor. She juxtaposes warriors and artists, Christians and Jews, saints and sinners to weave a story that is hard to put down.
Elaine
A charming and delightful tale. Although the plot is predictable, and the outcome is in no doubt, this nonetheless doesn't detract from an interesting read. Some of the scenes are excellent, the characters well depicted, and the language used quite poetic and descriptive.

Throughout there is an underlying concern from the author for her creations-and the enigmatic Mandrato, the Jewish moneylender, and his family, hit a high point in terms of character creation. Again, although inevitable, it was
...more
F.j.commelin
I read this novel on my summer-holidays.
An easy to read story about two couples in love, about the war in the times of Savonarola, about the hatred for the jews.
Fiorato takes me with her in that period.
Her language is visual.
It's also easy to read in short parts. The next time you're immediately back into the story.
Her notes at the end are also interesting.
I looked the painter up on Google and i could see, that he was Leonardo's pupil.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernardi...
Pat
A friend suggested all the books by this author and started me off with this one. I found it a big disappointment really. The story is set in Italy in the early 16th century and covers aspects of the Catholic churches persecution of Jews as well as the life of an artist called Bernardino Luini and the development of Amaretto di Saronno. It is told in a sort of mediaeval speech and I am sure that the factual aspects were well researched. But as a novel I found it lacking in depth and would probab ...more
Mieke
Not my favorite of Fiorato's books, but I did enjoy it and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading about Renaissance Italy. I particularly enjoyed the side-stories involving the plight of the Jews in Italy during this time, as it is a topic I had not read about previously nor really thought about, as generally the focus is on Spain during this time period.

Some of the story is a bit predictable (such as who the mysterious wild man who stumbles from the trees is) but it does raise the interest
...more
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Marina Fiorato is half-Venetian. She was born in Manchester and raised in the Yorkshire Dales.

She is a history graduate of Oxford University and the University of Venice, where she specialized in the study of Shakespeare’s plays as an historical source.

After University she studied art and since worked as an illustrator, actress and film reviewer.

She also designed tour visuals for rock bands includ
...more
More about Marina Fiorato...
The Glassblower of Murano The Botticelli Secret The Daughter of Siena The Venetian Contract Beatrice and Benedick

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