I, Mona Lisa by Jeanne Kalogridis

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Synopsis

“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.
 

About Jeanne Kalogridis

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JEANNE KALOGRIDIS lives with her partner in California, where they share a house with two dogs. She is the author of the critically acclaimed The Borgia Bride, and numerous other dark fantasy and historical novels.
 
Published April 1, 2007 by St. Martin's Griffin. 544 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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On his deathbed not long after, Lorenzo promises Lisa a large dowry and mumbles something about “the third man.” With his demise and the political turmoil among rival families that ensues, Lisa and her father are caught in dangerous limbo.

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Publishers Weekly

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Set against a backdrop of political and religious conflicts in 15th-century Medici-ruled Florence, Kalogridis's bloody historical (after The Borgia Bride ) identifies the subject of Leonardo da Vinci's painting as Lisa di Antonio Gherardini.

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Historical Novel Society

Lisa grows into womanhood overshadowed by these traumatic events and the popular rise of the fanatic monk, Savonarola, whose rabid crusade against the Medici results in a dark period of fear and persecution.

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Curious Book Fans

Lisa di Antonio Gherardini Gioconndo, who is known simply as Madonna Lisa, sets the scene for this novel in the prologue.

Jan 15 2010 | Read Full Review of I, Mona Lisa

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