- 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)
Daughter of Venice Paperback – 7 Aug 2006
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"* "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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
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.**
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another of my favourite books alongside THE THIEF LORD set in Venice, because that’s clearly My Thing, this is a historical novel about a rich girl who sneaks out of her house to... Read morePublished on 4 May 2015 by Lauren James
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. Read morePublished on 30 May 2013 by Dissatisfied from Croydon
Lovely book, giving a new insight into a city I love dearly. Enjoyed it very much.Published on 6 May 2010 by Mrs. Jacqueline E. Franks
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... Read morePublished on 20 May 2009 by Nayu
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... Read more