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10 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!!!
I couldn't put it down! Was so engrossed in the world of ancient Venice... I love the city, that's why I decided to read this book, but Donata's world is so different and interesting.
I read the book in one go in one day, and pity now that there are no more books about Donata and her Venice.
If you liked that book, I'd recommend Mary Hoffman's trilogy of...
Published on 16 April 2008 by M. Ivanova

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very readable, but doesn't really stay with you for long
Firstly, I'll state the good points. It was highly readable; I could hardly put it down and finished it in a matter of hours. Through the vivid descriptions and rich vocabulary, I could almost sense the suffocating life that was Donata's world; I was also able to get a feel of the inequality between men and women during those times. Evidently, Napoli had done her...
Published on 26 July 2006 by J. Takata


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very readable, but doesn't really stay with you for long, 26 July 2006
By 
J. Takata (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Daughter of Venice (Paperback)
Firstly, I'll state the good points. It was highly readable; I could hardly put it down and finished it in a matter of hours. Through the vivid descriptions and rich vocabulary, I could almost sense the suffocating life that was Donata's world; I was also able to get a feel of the inequality between men and women during those times. Evidently, Napoli had done her research.

But there wasn't much more to it - I found the characterisation to be a little on the flat side, which is perhaps expected of a book that is relatively short and aimed for a younger audience. I also thought the whole incident with Noé went a little unresolved, and I was a little irritated by the "happy for all" kind of ending. The pace was rather slow at times, too.

Still, it was a good read on a hot summer's day, and if you're looking for some light historical fiction, this book is worth reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!!!, 16 April 2008
By 
M. Ivanova "i_am_she_wolf" (London, uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Daughter of Venice (Paperback)
I couldn't put it down! Was so engrossed in the world of ancient Venice... I love the city, that's why I decided to read this book, but Donata's world is so different and interesting.
I read the book in one go in one day, and pity now that there are no more books about Donata and her Venice.
If you liked that book, I'd recommend Mary Hoffman's trilogy of "Stravaganza" books, it has a bit of fantasy, but mostly is about similar time in ancient Italy: Venice, Florence and Rome. And it involves mostly teens too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars cleverly concocted tale of bygone ages & nunnerys, 30 Aug. 2005
By 
This review is from: Daughter of Venice (Paperback)
Exciting, engrossing tense and delicious
This rich tapestry of words will intrigue and delight - drawing one into the cleverly concocted world of Venice in it's heyday.
Intense Donata lives a circumscribed life, hung about with conventions and prohibitions until she begins to wrest a little more from life by seeking adventures and conspiring with her sisters to acheive some equality in a world which is arranged for the comfort of men, and daughters left over get sent to convents.
A gracious mother and kind father unbend enough to allow Donata and her sisters & brothers careers and paths which suit their temperaments in a most compassionate way
Having read many of Donna Jo Napoli's other novels themed upon old fairytales, I kept trying to guess which old story she might have taken her inspiration this time - it kept me guessing right up until the last half, when I concluded this is a fresh! tale.
Fascinating!
Kotori 2005
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of her time..., 10 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Daughter of Venice (Paperback)
Venice, Italy, 1592... Donata Mocenigo is the daughter of one of the city's noblemen and as such, leads a life of wealthy privilege. But constrained by the strict rules of etiquette which a young noblewoman must observe, Donata longs to throw off her veil and wander freely through the vibrant city she can only see from her balcony. So, with the help of her siblings, Donata hatches a daring plan to escape the palazzo where she lives and explore the city alone. But in so doing she sets off a series of events which will change her life, and the lives of her family members, forever...

Although this started really slowly and could definitely have done with a bit more description in places, I still really enjoyed Daughter of Venice. Donata is a likeable, if slightly naive, main character and although there are a lot of other characters featured (her 11 other siblings plus her mother, father, various city folk, members of other noble families and servants too) I never lost track of who was who and what their place was in the overall story.

Donata is clearly ahead of her time, desperately longing for an education in a time when noble women were expected to excel at their accomplishments (harpischord, violin, sewing, art, etc) as opposed to reading and writing. So when Donata escapes the palazzo and through a series of events meets Noè, a Jewish copywriter who agrees to employ her on the basis of paying for a pair of shoes she borrows from him (under the guise of being a poor fishing boy), you know pretty much where the story is heading. Donata not only learns to read and write (in an amazingly short space of time - one of the slightly less believable elements of the book) but she also starts to see the city she lives in in a completely different light. Used to a life of luxury, Donata begins to notice the less pleasant side of life - disease, death, poverty and extreme hunger - which open her eyes to the life she has. And it doesn't sit comfortably with her...

The finale of the book - where Donata is chosen for marriage over her twin sister Laura - brings about another series of events which see Donata exposed as a fraud and her family's name in jeopardy. Some other reviewers have commented that Napoli ties up all the loose ends in the book a little too neatly, but I would have to disagree. If this were an adult fiction book, Napoli could easily have gone into a great more detail and perhaps even dramatised the ending a bit more so not everyone gets what they want. But this is a young adult book and as such, I see nothing wrong with giving Donata a happy ending. Or as happy as it can be given the times she lived in.

Finally, there's no doubt that Napoli has done her research - it really shines through in her descriptions of the city and of certain historical events - which make this a wonderful read if you're even slightly interested in the history of Venice and its people. Napoli comments in the Author's Notes that the story is dedicated to the spirit of Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia, a scholar, musician and artist who, like Donata, was ahead of her time. It's a fitting dedication for a woman who clearly thought she deserved more and got it, becoming the first woman ever to be awarded a doctoral degree: Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Padua in 1678.

I would highly recommend Daughter of Venice if you want a nicely paced story, which gives a wonderful sense of what it would have been like to live in Venice in the 1500s. And as someone who's never been to Venice, this book has definitely made me want to go there.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A mesmerising story of renaissance Venice, 12 Aug. 2010
By 
Nicola F (Nic) (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Daughter of Venice (Paperback)
This is the captivating tale of bold, brash noblewoman Donata, a teenager desperate to obtain some degree of freedom in 15th Century Venice before she is ultimately shipped away to join a convent by her strictly traditional family.

Eager to learn and explore her home city of which she can only imagine through maps, paintings and stories told by her uncles and elder brothers, Donata knows that her future and that of her younger sisters also, is entirely planned out for her and so concocts a plan to briefly escape out into the city. In doing so however, she is quite unaware of the consequences this may bring...

A beautiful story of renaissance Venice that is at times humorous, sad and reflective. I feel I learned a lot from this story about the status of Venetian families during that time period- so it was informative as well as entertaining--I'm glad I wasn't around back then, the way of life was so strict! I'm also not generally a big reader of historical fiction either which I sometimes find too dry, but this was richly told and proved completely absorbing- I may even give some other historical fiction a try now! You can tell that the author's research into politics, culture and religion of the time period was impeccable and through it Venice is really brought to life.

The elegant prose and detail meant that I became engrossed in this novel from the outset. The pretty cover seduced me alone. I can highly recommend it for an `anytime' read, and if you are as hesitant to approach the genre as I initially was, then you needn't worry as this is a truly wonderful tale.

**If you like this novel then I can also definitely recommend `The Glassblower of Murano' which is another book with a Venetian setting that successfully transported me to another time.**
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5.0 out of 5 stars Go back in time to 16th Century Venice, 20 May 2009
This review is from: Daughter of Venice (Paperback)
love books based on historical incidents/eras, and not just for the costumes! I find the research which the author puts into the novel creates a rich story, teaching me a little about the life of that time. Daughter of Venice is no exception.

1592, in Venice (obviously...), Donata is born to a wealthy family. However, at this time such families usually only marry off one son, and one daughter. Being a twin, with an elder sister who'll become married, Donata has a rebellious streak. She longs to find out what life is outside the strict social rules that govern her life. So she takes matters into her own hands, dresses up in boys' clothes and ventures outside. There she meets Noe. Not only is he a boy, but he's a Jew. At a time when Christianity is the main religion, it proves a learning curb for her.

This is a tale of discovery. Donata learns more about life in Venice, which leads her to seek knowledge and figure out what her life goals are. Her adventures aren't without danger or edge of the seat moments. Her relationships with the rest of her family definitely shape the woman she'll end up becoming as an adult. There's a lot of love in her family, which makes a change from protagonists who don't get on with their kin. I read this in one sitting, and the time flew past with Donata's exploits.
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2.0 out of 5 stars How can I be sure that a second hand book does not belong to a library?, 30 May 2013
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This review is from: Daughter of Venice (Hardcover)
Having recently received a copy of the Daughter of Venice I was pleasantly surprised to see that for a second hand book it was in very good condition. However I was shocked to see that inside the front cover is the stamp from a school library. I have purchased this book in good faith and would like to be confident that it was the seller's property and not still the property of the school.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A noble girl is out to see the world before it is too late., 4 April 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Daughter of Venice (Hardcover)
Donata is a young noble girl who lives in Venice during the late 1500s. She is fortunate to be rich, but she is locked away from the world outside her palazzo and is not educated. After finding out that she will not marry and will instead be sent to a convent, she comes up with a plan to escape and see the world outside her palazzo, before she is locked away forever.
I recommend this book to girls ages 10 and up. Boys may read it too, but they might not enjoy it as much since some seens describe how a girl is feeling as she talks to the man she secrely has a crush on. So if you are looking for a book that is realistic fiction, you will absolutly enjoy, and will educate you on Venice in the 1500s, then this book is for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Daughter of Venice, 6 May 2010
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This review is from: Daughter of Venice (Paperback)
Lovely book, giving a new insight into a city I love dearly. Enjoyed it very much.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably boring - and even more unbelievable dialogue..., 10 Mar. 2009
By 
FAMOUS NAME (UNITED KINGDOM) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Daughter of Venice (Paperback)
I did not finish this book.

At first, my Review would have started with: 'you will need to stick with this one, as the first five chapters are quite boring - merely full of uneventful narrative and hard to pronounce Italian names - but it does start to 'pick up''.
However, all that was to change...

Unless it had anything to do with my mood, this story did not appear to be really going anywhere, then suddenly the narrative and story became interesting. But the authenticity of it was completely destroyed for me at the point where the dialogue became ultra modern, very American and rather ridiculous at page 132:

'You can get on home now' says Noe. 'It's a quarter to twelve - hurry!' - I stand up slowly; 'see you tomorrow'
'Yup' Then a bit further on we get: 'if it's all the same to you...'

Oh come on! Get real I thought! This was supposed to be 1592?? I'm pretty sure that people did not speak in this way back then?? More like 1992!!

I simply could not go on or take the novel seriously from that point onwards - sorry!
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Daughter of Venice
Daughter of Venice by Donna Jo Napoli (Paperback - 7 Aug. 2006)
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