Author: Jeanne Kalogridis
Rating <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Summary: "My name is Lisa di Antonio Gherardini Giocondo, though to acquaintances, I am known simply as Madonna Lisa. My story begins not with my birth but a murder, committed the year before I was born…"
Florence, April 1478: The handsome Giuliano de' Medici is brutally assassinated in Florence's magnificent Duomo. The shock of the murder ripples throughout the great city, from the most renowned artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, to a wealthy wool merchant and his extraordinarily beautiful daughter, Madonna Lisa.
More than a decade later, Florence falls under the dark spell of the preacher Savonarola, a fanatic who burns paintings and books as easily as he sends men to their deaths. Lisa, now grown into an alluring woman, captures the heart of Giuliano's nephew and namesake. But when Guiliano, her love, meets a tragic end, Lisa must gather all her courage and cunning to untangle a sinister web of illicit love, treachery, and dangerous secrets that threatens her life.
Set against the drama of 15th Century Florence, I, Mona Lisa is painted in many layers of fact and fiction, with each intricately drawn twist told through the captivating voice of Mona Lisa herself.
Review: I, Mona Lisa takes you into the heart of Florence when the monk Savanarola, was preaching his messages of hell fire and brimstone against the Borgia pope's decadence and lust, the evilness of sodomy, and what was going to happen to the rich of Florence if they did not repent and change their ways; in the middle of all this you meet you Madonna Lisa, her sick Mother, her faithful yet beautiful slave, her deceitful Father and the hateful and demanding world which she is tossed into. From the first page of the novel the reader is tossed into a world of cathedrals filled with murderers, intrigue, affairs, and people who are loyal to causes that will ultimately get them killed or out them on the wrong side of an executioner's axe.
Young Lisa must negotiate her way through a world that is both unkind and dangerous while meeting some of the most famous people that we revere today such as Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Lorenzo the Magnificent, and so on, the world's most famous painting is started, and the girl behind it is transformed into a flesh and blood character who fights increasingly overwhelming odds to live her life, and save the lives of those she loves, this was an amazing book and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.