Fairlita's Reviews > The Smile

The Smile by Donna Jo Napoli
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Sep 07, 10

bookshelves: history-or-historical, in-italy, ya, art-or-lit-figures-n-masterpieces, in-tuscany, covers-i-like-n-own, period-other
Read from August 29 to 31, 2010 — I own a copy

Period: Renaissance
Setting: Florence, Tuscany

3.5 stars.

3 instead of 4 stars because of:

- the ending. To be exact, I prefer M(ad)on(n)a (E)lisa(betta) to end up with Giuliano de Medici. But then again, the famous painting wouldn't also be called as La Gioconda if it were so. *sigh* Oh well... It's the way they did it long time ago, marriage for the purpose of politic and finance.

- Papà instead of Babbo?!?! I've heard only a few of Tuscans calling their dads papà. The rest of them use babbo, even back then in the Medici's time.

Extra half star for succeeding in describing renaissance Florence quite clearly; I could almost imagine myself being there, while at the same time comparing with the present city.

By the way, is it only me [who doesn't get it], or Ms. Napoli didn't really give any background --not even between the line-- on the mysterious smile?

(Edited on Sept 7, 2010)
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Ella I felt like she did give some background- remember in the last chapter, (or was it the second to last- I forget) Leo was saying how he wanted to paint her because of her smile that made him wonder soooo much. I believe that Napoli was indicating that her mysterious smile was because she needed to smile for the portrait even though she is not completely satisfied with her life, after not ending up with Giuliano. That would cause her to have sort of a forced, mysterious smile.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

> "To be exact, I prefer M(ad)on(n)a (E)lisa(betta) to end up with Giuliano de Medici."

Thematic and narrative integrity be damned?


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