This was another novel by Sarah Dunant and a part of her Renaissance series. This story tells the tale of 16th-century Venetian courtesan, Fiammetta Bianchini, through the voice of her pimp/protector Bucino.
The novel begins as Fiametta and Bucino flee Rome as it is being pillaged by German Lutherans. They head to Venice, where Fiametta’s mother lives and where she trained Fiametta to be a courtesan.
The story tracks their triumphs and hardships as they attempt to set-up shop (if you will) in Venice and promote Fiametta to become one of the most popular and famous courtesans.
In the other two novels, though, Dunant uses third person. This piece is told through the eyes of Bucino, in first person. When I read the first paragraph, I immediately scoffed and groaned! One aspect about Dunant I really enjoyed was her use of third-person present tense. While the present tense was still the same, the first person was something different from her other two pieces. I grew to enjoy it eventually. Getting Bucino’s expert opinions and knowledge of 16th century prostitution was helpful to the development of a good reader-writer rapport.
I trusted her to give me info through him.
The Bucino filter allows the reader to see only his point of view, though, which leads to a plot twist near the end.
I liked this book. It made me want to go back and re-read all three as a psuedo-series. As a collection. I recommend it. Dunant’s mastery of historical fiction and the female life in her Renaissance collection is delightful.
I wish I had gotten more of the inner thoughts of Fiametta, about being a young woman in the 16th century. But overall, I cannot say that I didn’t enjoy it.