Betty's Reviews > In the Company of the Courtesan

In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant
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's review
Jul 20, 2009

really liked it

I probably wouldn't normally read a story about a courtesan but I've had a love affair with anything Venetian for over thirty years, so the setting intrigued me.

The author magically transports us to Venice in the 16th century by her wonderful characterizations and the authentic descriptions of that magnificent city. Written in the "voice" of the dwarf, Bucino, who manages the courtesan's career, you feel only sadness for this unlikely couple. After the fall of Rome to the Germans, the only way they can manage to make a decent living is to flee to Venice, Fiammetta's hometown, and continue with their amoral lifestyle. There are problems to overcome and the fact that Bucino turns down the offer of his lifetime, shows the love he has for the beautiful Venitian. There are no graphic sex scenes if that is what one is looking for. What is distressing to me is that the story portrays the all-too-common fate of a woman of that time with no family to help her. And it is not only in past history that such things occurs.

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