Monday, January 14

I, Mona Lisa

I, Mona LisaI, Mona Lisa by Jeanne Kalogridis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Several years ago I gave this book to my mother as a Christmas gift.  This holiday season while visiting family I saw it on the bookshelf and decided to read it myself.  It was chosen because my mother is a musician and a lover of art.  Having lived in Europe as a pre-teen, I have memories of my mother taking me around to well known art galleries, showing me well known works of art, and whispering in my ear or sharing with me the reasons why a particular painting was so famous, or controversial, or cutting edge for its time.  This book is staged around the famous painting Mona Lisa, which I saw first when my parents took me to the Louvre during the four years we lived in Belgium.  Paris and France is only a short skip away from Belgium.  The narrator is none other than Mona Lisa, and Kalogridis has written a fast paced, intriguing historical fiction account about the time period in which Da Vinci painted this piece of art, the woman in the frame, and her life surrounded by a mix if loving, creepy, controlling, concerned, self-serving and mysterious people.  A time period during which a women's servants could be her best friends, Kalogridis teaches the reader that there are secrets hidden within generations, but the secrets will always come to light.

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