Andrea's Reviews > Passion Blue

Passion Blue by Victoria Strauss
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's review
Aug 20, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2012

Is the future decided by free will or was it written in the stars at the moment of birth? And what does it truly mean to be free? In fifteenth century Milan, young Giulia Borromeo is determined to fight her fate, but will she break free from her predetermined life, or will she end up where she was always meant to be?

Passion Blue was a very enjoyable, thought-provoking story. The story is set in Milan, during the fifteenth century when being the daughter of a seamstress and a nobleman affords you little more privilege than a commoner. When being a woman, even a smart, immensely talented one at that, means you are relegated to stay quiet, behind the scenes, and are never recognized for your gift.

"...she is a woman, and women are...well, they are women, they are fickle and full of emotion and caprice. Women don't have the temperament for the demands of painting, any more than they do for science or the law." (ARC, pg 228)

Giulia's life has been shadowed by the horoscope that was written from the stars, at the moment of her birth. A horoscope that says she will end her days childless and unmarried. It is a fate she is determined to overcome. When Giulia is sent, by her step-mother, to a Santa Marta's, she believes her chance is gone. That she will never be free. Giulia is determined to bide her time, and with the help of a talisman procured from a sorcerer, she will find the true love that will take her away to freedom. But she discovers a new way of living at the convent, full of art and passion for the craft, a way she never imagined. In the end, Giulia must decide between the life she's always dreamed of, and the fate that is waiting for her to embrace it.

Victoria Strauss paints a beautiful picture of Renaissance Italy. The descriptive passages made the story and its characters feel alive and will be a treat for fans of historical fiction. The detailed attention to the medium of painting and the passion for art in Passion Blue will appeal for those who have a special love for that particular art. And though much of the story is set in a nunnery, and deals with obedience and faith, the story never becomes preachy.

A story of fate, choice, and love beyond romance, Passion Blue is a story that will make you think and make you feel.
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Reading Progress

11/09/2012 page 200
56.0% "Lovely portrayal of art and 15th century Italy."

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