Osborne, Mary, "Nonna's Book of Mysteries", Lake Street Press, 2010.
Art, Mystery and Magic
Emilia Serafini at fourteen years old wants is to learn to paint so that she can become an artist. However there were no painters' apprenticeships for young women don't exist in the Florence, Italy during the Renaissance. Nothing looks good for her and then she receives a book, "A Manual to the Science of Alchemy". It had once been her grandmother's and Emilia uses it over and over for guidance. She then meets the wealthy, brooding Franco Villani and her life changes and becomes somewhat thrilling and dangerous. Franco wants a place in the de Medici court and will do anything to win it. He knows that Cosimo de Medici loves ancient manuscripts and he understands that Emilia's book is invaluable to him. Here is the story of a yo9ng woman who does what she had to do to reach her goal. This is a look into art, mystery and magic with lots of twists and surprises and you will not move until you finish it. It shows us to look deeper as we face the mysteries of life and that goals can be reached with desire and work.
In Renaissance Italy, 14 year old Emilia doesn't really fit the mold of the other girls her age. While her father despairs of her ever marrying, Emilia longs to paint and be recognized like the male artist of her time. Emilia dresses like a boy just to get a chance to work under and learn from one of Italy's most revered talents. But when an accident reveals Emilia's true identity, she is fired and she is once again forced to face the fact that her dreams may be unattainable. … more
This is the best novel of historical fiction I have read in a long time. Mary Osborne transports the reader back to fifteenth century Italy. The main character is a determined young woman with a dream to become a painter. It is fun visualizing what some of these frescos look like. Osborne describes the fresco of the goddess Venus and the Holy Trinity to name a few. She is a very visual writer. I am motivated to learn more about Italian art because of this novel. This novel … more
Emilia's dream of becoming a painter doesn't look promising, after all, it is only the 14th century and women did not have opportunities such as this. Emilia's parents decide to let her pursue her passion and take painting lessons. The only thing is, she has to pretend that she's a he. She is emotionally shattered when her identity is uncovered and she can no longer take lessons. Her mother ends up giving her Nonna's Book of Mysteries and Emilia ends up learning a lot about … more
In "Nonna's Book of Mysteries," author Mary Osborne tells the delightfully warm story of Emilia Serafina, a teenage girl living in the Florence of the Medicis with the very true heart's desire to become an apprenticed painter in one of the city's famed botteghe. As the career of painter usually is a vocation reserved just for men, Emilia, encouraged by Violante, her wise and resourceful mother, attempts the impossible, flouting the wishes of her more conventional and, at times unscrupulously pragmatic, … more