Title: Signora da Vinci

Date Completed: 12/13/09

Author(s): Robin Maxwell

Copyright: 2009, Penguin Group

# pages: 422

Genre: Historical Fiction

 I only started to read historical fiction a few years ago.  It is a genre that I read with some caution because I find it very hard to separate fact from fiction.  But, I’m not worried enough to stop reading it!

 This is a book about Leonardo Da Vinci’s mom – a woman who in real life we known next to nothing about.  However, in Singora da Vinci, she comes alive and is every bit as interesting as her very famous son.  This is the kind of book that makes me want to call in sick to work so I can keep reading it. 

 The book picks up about two years before Leonardo is born.  I read a biography about Leonardo Da Vinci two or three years ago, so I am mildly familiar with the story of his life.  What I remember of the history blended very well with the fiction in this book.  Caterina, Leonardo’s mom, is a ‘gutsy broad’ for the 1400s.  After Leonardo moves to Florence, she disguises herself as a man and moves there to be close to him.  While there, she meets and becomes friends with Lorenzo DaMedici – one of the most powerful men in the world. 

 The book is a well put together story that has all of the things that make a book good – love, hate, underground societies, the fabulously rich who are also good people, religion, philosophy, and of course, art. 

 Robin Maxwell is the author of several other books, which will now be going on my book list.  I’m finding this to be an unintended consequence of starting Building a Bookshelf…I’m finding a lot of authors who are becoming my favorites.  Reading is a beautiful thing!