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Daughter of Venice Paperback – 7 Aug 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Paperback, 7 Aug 2006
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books Ltd; New edition edition (7 Aug. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1406302635
  • ISBN-13: 978-1406302639
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,278,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"* "Napoli writes with vigour and compassion... the novel thrums with historical detail and feminist ardour." The Independent on Sunday * "A superbly researched, richly textured novel." Celia Rees, author of Witch Child * "An absorbing tale of courage." The Bookseller"

About the Author

Donna Jo Napoli is a professor of linguistics and author of many distinguished books for young readers. Daughter of Venice was inspired by some research she did into the education of wealthy women in sixteenth-century Italy. "Most of these women grew up economically privileged, unlike me, but I connected with their stories because education opened up my world, just as it opened theirs," she says. A dual citizen of the USA and Italy, Donna lives in Pennsylvania, USA.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: 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.
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Format: 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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