Cherise's Reviews > Nonna's Book of Mysteries

Nonna's Book of Mysteries by Mary A. Osborne
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's review
Aug 01, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: arc-or-review-copy, young-adult
Read from July 23 to August 01, 2010

In Renaissance Italy, 14 year old Emilia doesn't really fit the mold of the other girls her age. While her father despairs of her ever marrying, Emilia longs to paint and be recognized like the male artist of her time. Emilia dresses like a boy just to get a chance to work under and learn from one of Italy's most revered talents. But when an accident reveals Emilia's true identity, she is fired and she is once again forced to face the fact that her dreams may be unattainable.

Shortly after another artist stumbles across Emilia and offers her an apprenticeship, with no disguises necessary. Emilia finds her way with the help of her unconventional and understanding mother and the aid of a century old family heirloom.

Nonna's Book of Mysteries is a coming of age story about a girl who defies convention at a time where there were very definite boundaries people, women especially, didn't cross. We get to see Emilia make mistakes and eventually find the path she was destined for all along. It's a fast paced young adult novel with an exciting glimpse of Renaissance Italy. I think it is a novel most adults would enjoy, as well. Emilia and the other cast of characters enrich the story and engage the reader. This looks to be the first book in the series, I would love to see what happens in the next book.

Cherise Everhard, August 2010

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