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A dama das Amêndoas

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,412 ratings  ·  112 reviews
Na antiga Itália do século XVI, a jovem Simonetta perde o marido Lorenzo - poderoso senhor feudal - em consequencia de uma batalha travada contra os espanhóis. Certo dia, o jovem pintor Bernardino Luini, aprendiz do gênio Da Vinci, a avista por acaso nos bancos da Igreja de Santa Maria dei Miracoli, na Toscana. Ele estava ali para pintar um afresco nas paredes da igreja po ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published 2009 by Prumo (first published January 2006)
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Konstantin A bit slow at the beginning, but once you get into it, you just can't stop. In the last 50 pages it is almost breathlessly fast, like a perfect…moreA bit slow at the beginning, but once you get into it, you just can't stop. In the last 50 pages it is almost breathlessly fast, like a perfect historical thriller.(less)
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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,412 ratings  ·  112 reviews

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Jun 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Jennifer Bibby
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second time I've read this book and much preferred it second time round. This is a book to read and savour rather than devour it while being on holiday (as I did first time)
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I’m sorry to say that this book was not to my liking.

On the plus side, it’s an easy read. The language is pleasant and the characters easy to picture. The novel’s painfully predictable plot makes it an unchallenging and fast read which can easily be enjoyed in any situation where you just want an effortless distraction. I can easily picture it as a popular holiday read for those interested in romance set in a loose historical setting.

My biggest issues with this book lies in the numerous errors,
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tis no use telling you my name, for I am about to die.
Let me tell you hers instead-Simonetta di Saronno. To me it always sounded like a wonderous strain of music, or a line of poetry. It has a pleasing cadence, and the feel of the words as they march have a perfection almost equal to her countenance.

No one writes great historical fiction set in Italy like Marina Fiorato. I was instantly hooked from the very beginning of this dual narrative. I loved the relationship between both couples, but a
Mar 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historic
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
Sep 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 *s

This was an enjoyable read, full of vivid descriptions that really brought the characters and scenes to life.
The plot lines were engaging, and the characters drawn well. I've enjoyed both books I've read by this author ( the other being The glassblower of Murano) , and find her writing style relaxing and easy to read.
I will definitely be reading more
Kate Forsyth
I've been slowly reading my way through Marnia Fiorato's books since enjoying her debut The Glassblower of Murano a few years ago. This one is set in Renaissance Italy, and tells the story of the love affair between a painter and a young woman who invents a liquor made from almonds in order to save her beloved house. I really enjoyed this
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.
Jun 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good read from this author. I liked this one as well. Art, Italy, history, love, tragedy, etc.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought that this book would be full of historical data and events, by that I mean boring, but I have been positively surprised. At the beginning I realized that the author has a unique style of writing, elegant, smooth and full of beautiful syntagms. I liked that inspiration for this story were real historical figures. I really liked the plot and the denouement, and the ending was great, I would dare to say that it couldn't be better.
Mislila sam da će ova knjiga biti prepuna
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel comes close to perfection. Meticulously researched and written, this historical fiction novel is set In Renaissance Italy with a cast of fascinating characters, including a little known historical artist and student of Leonardo da Vinci‘s, Bernardino Luini. The chapters are concise and well constructed alternating between characters and plot all of which are beautifully interwoven. This is the first work of Marina Fiorato’s I have read and enjoyed thoroughly. I am already working on g ...more
Victoria Conway
This was probably a 3.5 read. Enjoyable, but it took a while for the plot to get going. The parallel stories of two young women from different walks of life eventually came together, but I had already guessed the connection between them. Initially I thought it was going to feature historical figures and famous paintings, after encountering Leonardo painting the Mona Lisa, but this was just an introduction to his student Bernardino Luigi. The Author’s Note was interesting; the story was based on ...more
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This certainly had an action-packed plot with lots going on. However a lot of it did feel predictable (view spoiler). This wasn't a slow indulgent 'comfort read' like many historical fiction novels, where you felt immersed in the historical context. But Marina Fiorato's nove ...more
May 06, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Gave up halfway through
I felt my IQ dropping a point with every page. I thought it would be historical fiction. It would technically qualify, but was written at (I'd guess) 10 year old's reading level. Don't waste your time.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be somewhat predictable as I knew what would happen to Lorenzo in the end. I didn't particularly like the historical references of characters that were only mentioned briefly in passing. I thought it dragged on at times, and made the story a tad boring to read. I wish that more was explained about Simonetta and Bernardino's love in the beginning; it seemed to be rushed and left me confused. The characters didn't seem as fully developed as I would have liked them to be.
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm sorry to say but as much as I love Marina Fiorato's books, this one just bored me to death. I only struggled on out of respect for the author and her previous books. Nothing grabbed me in this story. Nothing peaked my interest. To me, it lacked warmth and the author's storytelling bored me. I found myself skipping sentences, even paragraphs just to keep moving the story along. I read a few sentences here and there and that was more than enough to get the gist of the story. I can't remember t ...more
Aug 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simonetta di Saronno is a young devout widow of 17, who lost her husband and her fortune to the Italian war of 1521-26. To save her estate she agrees to pose for artist Bernardino Luini who is painting a fresco in the local Church of Saronno.
Bernardino Luini is an apprentice to Leonardo da Vinci. He is reckless and finds pleasure in his art and women until he falls in love and begins to feel and have faith.

Amaria is an orphan raised by her ‘Nonna’ and Selvaggio is a war survivor saved by Amaria
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
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
Feb 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 13, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 06, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
An unexpected journey, totally unexpected end. Although it ends... pretty happy, I'm kinda sad because it's not happy end at all. This is the story that will stay on your mind for some time. :)
Love Bernardino and Simonetta together.
Still under the impression! Lorenzo/Selvaggio said goodbye so easily. Heartbreaking. The fact he's the only one who knew everything, and didn't say anything, even though he was hurt too... depressing.

Great book, I recommend it to everyone, I think you'll
Zoe Jussel
Sep 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What can I say? I love this author and I never fail to get a darned good read, a goodly amount of history, violence, lust, love, hate, passion and best of all, her stories always take place in Italy. Usually in the 1400's to 1600's so NOT the Italy I would like to have lived in, but in my mind, she is a weaver of a good yarn. I think this is the last left for me to read until she gets going on another. Interesting how she takes you from death on the battlefield, to the discovery and making of Am ...more
F.J. Commelin
Oct 01, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
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.
Jessica Larson-Wang
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 15, 2015 09:27AM  

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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
“- Jesmo li uludo protratili zadnje dvije godine? Zar nismo već tada mogli ukrstiti naše puteve?
- Ne mislim da smo ih protratili. Naši su se putevi ukrstili onoga dana kad smo se sreli. Samo smo još neko vrijeme morali putovati sami. Tada te nisam mogla prihvatiti. Previše se toga moralo učiniti - za previše toga iskupiti.”
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