Julie's Reviews > Signora Da Vinci

Signora Da Vinci by Robin Maxwell
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's review
Apr 18, 10

Read in April, 2010

What a little gem this book is. I stumbled upon it in the library; I was drawn to the title and the cover painting. I had never heard of the author, but I thought, "Why not?" I am so glad I brought this book home! I love historical fiction, and this book is a prime example of historical fiction done well. I especially love this time period (15th century) and location (Italy). The author has weaved an incredibly rich story around a woman about whom very little is actually known. Two facts are known about Leonardo da Vinci's mother: her name was Caterina, and Leonardo was taken from her the day after his birth to be brought up a bastard in the home of his paternal grandfather. More is known about Leonardo's father, and the author deduced that Leonardo's creativity, genius, and unique world view must have come from his mother, as his father possessed no similar qualities. This book is extensively researched, and the author melds the many characters and events (both real and imagined) together quite well. My only suggestion for improvement would be to offer dates on the chapter headings, as it was not often clear where we were in time. Sometimes, it seemed questionable that the timing was correct, e.g. it seemed like Lorenzo de' Medici's children were older than they should have been at certain points, knowing that they were born after Caterina went to Florence. But, this is a small issue and not enough to change my opinion of the book overall. I look forward to reading this author's other works.
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