What Nora Thought:
I have mixed feelings about this book. It takes place during the Italian Renaissance and I’m not too familiar with this period of time. This is a story that requires you to put in the time and effort to think about things. I found that I kept reading because I wanted to make sense of things. That is a lot of stuff happening in the story, and you have to stop and think. I had to reread some parts of the book to understand the context of the philosophy. I found it was a long process on her journey of self discovery. That being said the book had some very interesting parts and it will require a couple of reads for a better understanding.
About The Book:
At age fourteen, all Emilia Serafini wants is to learn to paint so that she can become an artist. But painters’ apprenticeships for young women don’t exist in the Florence of Renaissance Italy. The odds appear stacked against her until she receives a fascinating book, A Manual to the Science of Alchemy. It was once her grandmother’s and Emilia turns again and again to the Manual for guidance.
When Emilia meets the wealthy, brooding Franco Villani, her life takes a thrilling, but dangerous turn. Franco will do anything to win a place in the court of the powerful Cosimo de’ Medici. Well aware that Cosimo prizes ancient manuscripts above all, Franco realizes Emilia’s Manual would be invaluable to him in more ways than one.
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Lake Street Press; 1 edition (June 3, 2010)
Review Copy: Personal Copy