Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Painter's Apprentice: A Novel of 16th-Century Venice (Venetian Artisans #1)The Painter's Apprentice: A Novel of 16th-Century Venice by Laura Morelli
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Masterfully colorful. The author allowed me to read a copy of The Painter's Apprentice, the first in her Venetian Artisan series, in exchange for an honest review. The first thing that struck me was the imagery. I was looking for books to read where the story takes place in Venice before a vacation I was taking a couple of years ago. I found the author's short stories that were more than just stories based in Venice. They were total immersions in the culture, the people and the landscape of 16th century Venice.

The Painter's Apprentice tells the story of the daughter of a master glider, Maria, whose father has sent her to apprentice under a painter in Venice. While she is training, "the Black Death" or "the plague" was mercilessly taking lives across the globe and moving its way across Italy. It strikes heavily in her town where her father and cousin are still working as guild members. Maria wants to make it back home to her father's home and workshop and to hopefully take over the workshop but circumstances are against her. The servants in the painter's employ have discovered the real reason that Maria was sent away from home and they blackmail her until she has little to nothing left but her hopes to go home. What ensues is how Maria struggles to make her dreams come true to one day go home and find the man she loves. The Painter's Apprentice is a bit of romance, armchair travel and mostly a historic piece of literature. Laura Morelli does an amazing job with historical research and retelling of a terrible time. She manages to paint a story that draws the reader in and makes them look forward to the next installment in the Venetian Artisans series.

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