September 2016
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In the Company of the Courtesan, Sarah Dunant

This book’s two main characters are a courtesan and her dwarf, detailing their struggles to escape a captured Rome and re-establish themselves in Venice.  There is a fair bit of mystery in it as well as they find it hard to trust those in their new home — at least, Bucino does.

I have to confess that I found this historical fiction on the mediocre side.  I just didn’t see anything captivating about it.  It was written lightly, the mystery was confusing, and there was no pull compelling me to read more.  In the first few pages I thought it might be one of those books that I never finished.  It recovered from there, luckily, but never amounted to anything except a sense that it was missing something.  I did like the ending, which redeemed it a little; very poignant and suitable for the subject matter.  Otherwise, though, not much exciting to read here.  I’d probably recommend her first novel, THE BIRTH OF VENUS, instead, unless you are fascinated by Renaissance Venice and wouldn’t mind a bit of mystery and not much else.

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