Thursday, January 22, 2009

Review and Giveaway: Signora da Vinci by Robin Maxwell

About the Book: Caterina was fifteen years old in 1452 when she bore an illegitimate child in the tiny village of Vinci. His name was Leonardo, and he was destined to change the world forever.

Caterina suffered much cruelty as an unmarried mother and had no recourse when her boy was taken away from her. But no one knew the secrets of her own childhood, nor could ever have imagined the dangerous and heretical scheme she would devise to protect and watch over her remarkable son. This is her story.

My Review: The author states in the back of the book that there are two facts known about Leonardo da Vinci's mother. So a great deal of this book is artistic license and creativity..and she does a great job.

I was absolutely enthralled by this book. I loved Caterina, and I feel that the way she was written could have been the way she really was. It seems that Leonardo da Vinci must have had some influence like her in order to become the man he did. I was fascinated by each part of her life and her dedication to her son and the freedom of thought and information. She was strong willed and determined, a lover of knowledge and willing to take many risks for love.

Minor spoiler alert: Caterina ends up dressing as a man and thus attains a great deal of freedom in her society. This was interesting to me, and even without the motivation she had, I can see how this would be tempting for any woman! The complications this created in her life were interesting...for example what happens when a heterosexual man thinks he has fallen in love with another man? Additionally, this book deals heavily with the persecution the catholic church perpetrated towards those who were interested in philosophy and ancient religions. End of spoiler


This book is a true page turner and it will transport you back in time to Florence. Once again, this is primarily a work of fiction, but it's an interesting one.

Rating: 4/5
Elements: S
Read about my rating system here.

The publisher has generously given me three copies of this book to giveaway. To enter, please leave a comment with a valid email address and tell me what historical figure you'd like to read a novelization about. For two extra entries, blog about this contest with a link back to this post (be sure to come leave me a comment telling me blogged about it!). Open internationally. I'll draw three winners on January 31st. Can't wait? Buy the book here.



Amy

61 comments:

Julie P. said...

I'm starting this one today! Can't wait!

S. Krishna said...

I don't need to be entered in the giveaway, but I have this one on my shelf! I'm glad you liked it!

Serena said...

I just love historical books...this one sounds fantastic. What historical figure would I love to see fictionalized...hmmm...that's a tough one...probably Emily Dickinson

Holly said...

This looks fascinating. Please enter me! What historical figure would I like to see fictionalized? There are so many: Michelangelo (loved The Agony and the Ecstasy); Charles Dickens, Shakespeare.

The Tome Traveller said...

I love Robin Maxwell's books, I have read all of them so far. Please enter me, this one sounds great! I would like to read a novel about Mona Lisa. (There might be one out there, I haven't seen it yet!)

Thanks for a great contest, Amy!

Carey

Literary Feline said...

This does sound interesting. I would like to be entered in the drawing, Amy. Historical figure I would like to read a novelization about Mary Todd Lincoln, President Lincoln's wife. Perhaps one has been done already; I'm not sure.

literaryfeline AT gmail DOT com

Erika Lynn said...

I love historical fiction like this. I love all the books done on Jane Austen and The Bronte Sisters. I would love some more about Shakespeare. Thanks for the contest!
sports[dot]erikalynn[at]gmail[dot]com

Erika Lynn said...

I also blogged about it here
http://kissmybook.blogspot.com/2009/01/simple-pleasures.html

sports[dot]erikalynn[at]gmail[dot]com

The Holistic Knitter said...

This does sound a really good book.
I'd like to read something about Catherine Medici - I'm hunting around for a good book about her.
Please enter me for this draw - I live in the UK
holisticknitter(at)uk2(dot)net
Many thanks

darbyscloset said...

Amy,
I would like to read more about Mary Boleyn. I think she was left in the shadow of Anne and would like to read a book about her courage and success.
Thanks for the giveaway, I'm seeing this book everywhere!!!
Darby
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Alyce said...

I would love to be entered. One of the historical figures I would like to read a novelization about is Catherine the Great.
akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Toni said...

I would LOVE to enter the contest. Enter me pretty please. I will enter on my side bar at www.acircleofbooks.blogspot.com. My email is tonigomez(at)surewest(dot)net

Brooke Reviews said...

I actually love reading anything about Hitler. :/ My friends think I'm weird, but I have his book he wrote. Plus a bunch of others.

bacarleton at gmail dot com

Krista said...

This sounds really interesting! Hmm... I would like to see a fictionalized story of... maybe Pocahontas? We don't know that much about her, do we?

mindy said...

looks fascinating thanks minsthins(at)optonline(dot)net

Gypsy Rose Creations said...

i love books about the queens such as mary antoniette and the boleyns but they have all been done. I just havent read them All yet.

I have blogged about your contest here:
http://gypsyrosecreations.blogspot.com/

Janel said...

I would love to see some more books about Laura Ingalls Wilder. I know the series she wrote is fiction, but I would like to see something about her adult life.

jgbeads AT gmail DOT com

Janel said...

I also blogged about this in my right sidebar at:

http://janelsjumble.blogspot.com

Jennifer said...

I would love to read this book and add it to my library.

A historical person I would like to read about would be Catherine the Great.

valerie2350 said...

this sounds great -
mary queen of scotts would be interesting too

valerie2350 said...

blogged entry 1
http://sweeps4bloggers.blogspot.com/2009/01/myfriendamy-robin-maxwell-book-giveaway.html

valerie2350 said...

blogged entry 2
http://sweeps4bloggers.blogspot.com/2009/01/myfriendamy-robin-maxwell-book-giveaway.html

Genevieve said...

This sounds like a really good book. I love historical fiction. I've always liked reading historical fiction about Cleopatra and other females during history. I put a link of this contest in my blog's sidebar:
http://caprubia.blogspot.com/

caprubia[at]gmail[dot]com

Carol said...

I would love to read this book. My family is Italian and my mother's name is Catherine. It would be Caterina if her family had stayed in Italy. I have always been fascinated with Leonardo da Vinci! Thank you for the chance to win!
Carol M
mittens0831 AT aol.com

Stacie said...

I'd love to read a story about Leonardo Da Vinci!

raych said...

Wheeeeee, open internationally! Count me in! I would like to read a novelization about Charles II, because then I would feel less dumb in my Restoration Lit class.

Nely said...

OOoh, please enlist me for the giveaway. This sounds great and I'd love to read.

Thanks,
♥ Nely
nelaine.sanchez(at)gmail(dot)com

windycindy said...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart! I found the movie
"Amadeus" very interesting. He was quite an extraordinary genius. Please enter me in your delightful book drawing. Thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Beth said...

How about Betsy Ross? I like to sew and thought maybe this might be interesting!

Lindsey said...

This sounds so good, one I definitely want to read! I would like to read about someone's experience with the Boston Tea Party I think. :-) thanks for the opportunity to win!

Lindsey
ladyufshalott at yahoo.com

Francine said...

Sounds like a really good book. Lets see I would like to read a historical fiction book on Charles Dickens. Thanks for the giveaway.

Rasberryswrlgirl said...

I would love to read about Sandro Botticelli.

rasberryswrlgirl@hotmail.com

teabird said...

I'd love to read this - thanks!

teabird / twitter

teabird 17 *at* yahoo yadayada dot com

Dar said...

I'd love to be entered Amy. I'd love to read more about Mary Boleyn. YOu only really get a teaser about her life because of Anne. Thanks for the giveaway
bj19662001 (at) yahoo (dot) ca

Jo-Jo said...

I would love to be entered in this contest! I think I would enjoy reading about Joan of Arc.
joannelong74@gmail.com

Kat Bryan said...

What an interesting story line! I'd like to see a novel about Louisa Mae Alcott. She wrote such memorable books and I'd like to read more about her life may have been.

bettyd said...

I have really enjoyed historical fiction where the writer really gets detailed about the day to day realities of the time period. Thanks

Toystory said...

Newton might make a good story too. But Leonardo sounds interesting, fiction or not.

Fran said...

Oh, my. I've been dying to have a copy of this book!

Since I love reading about Egypt, my fave figure would be Cleopatra. She's a fascinating character for me.

ivan[dot]girl25[at]gmail[dot]com

Jo-Jo said...

I also blogged about your contest here.
joannelong74@gmail.com

Meg89 said...

I like reading about famous historical people about whom very few facts are actually known, like Shakespeare.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Meg

Betty said...

Oh, please enter me in the giveaway! I'd love to read this book. Historical figure I'd like to read about: Vincent van Gogh. I love the song Vincent, and I've always been fascinated by the song and his art.

Betty said...

Sorry I forgot to add my email address: bettysbooks@gmail.com

Thanks! =D

Elizabeth said...

I love historical fiction, and I just read about this on today's post w/ Robin Maxwell. I put the book on my TBR, but I hope I win it from you! I'd love to read more HF about women during the American Revolution, like Deborah Sampson Gannett, who dressed as a man and went into battle w/ her husband.

Lorin said...

Getting in here, right before the deadline! Please enter me into the giveaway.

Thanks!

lorin_arch (at) hotmail (dot) com

Lorin said...

Oh, oops, I forgot to name a historical figure - Joan of Arc popped into my head. Nowadays, we'd view here as a nutjob, I bet.

Diana D said...

Queen Elizabeth. Thanks for having the wonderful giveaway.

dianad8008 AT gmail DOT com

mangomissives said...

I would love to read a work of historical fiction about Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal. What was their life and love like that inspired Shah Jahan to build the beautiul Taj Mahal in memory of his wife???

jesslizt (((at))) yahoo ***dot*** com

Linda said...

I love historical books :) So enter me :D
Hm, well there was Emma, who was queen 2 times in 11th century England. I read a book by her once and would love to read another one.

blodeuedd1@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I also would love to have a book in this vein about Louisa May Alcott...

karin56381 (at) gmail.com

Judy said...

I would like to be entered into your contest if it's not to late. Nefertiti.

jghenrikson(at)gmail(dot)com.

Josette said...

Hi! I hope I'm not too late. Anne Boleyn intrigues me and although there're so many books on her, I'd like more. :)

I also blogged about your contest here.

josettebooks[at]yahoo[dot]com

Thank you!

traymona said...

I love reading historical novels. It's the best way to learn about history without being boring.
traymona[at]aol.com

Amy said...

i'd like to read a novel about king tut
theodoragroger@yahoo.com

traymona said...

I'd like to read a novel about Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin and/or Eleanor Roosevelt, Howard Hughes or Abraham Lincoln.
traymona[at]aol.com

Sarbear said...

Please enter me -- my email is geekettesarbear(at)yahoo(dot)com. I would like to read a novelization about Mozart! Sarbear

Tammy said...

I would love to read this book. Enjoy very much reading historical fiction, novels, etc. I just found Robin Maxwell on facebook. Haven't read any of her books as of yet but on my list. This one would be a great start.
I would love to read more about "Mary Queen of Scots" My email: joyhe@charter.net
posted:http://twitter.com/gensf
facebook

chasingbawa said...

I would love to read about Christopher Wren. Please add me to the draw. My e-mail address is chasingbawa[at]gmail[dot]com. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I'd love to read a novel about Pericles, Raphael, or Lorenzo.

j.brol@yahoo.com

Amanda said...

Oh I've been dying to read this one. I love Robin Maxwell. Hmmm...I've been wanting to read the novels of Josephine. Thanks for the giveaway!

nycbookgirl at gmail dot com

Rachel said...

I'd like to read a book about the Blood Countess. Thanks for the giveaway!

Rachelhwallen@gmail.com

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