Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Virgin's Lover

In The Company of the Courtesan follows the story of  Fiametta Bianchini (the courtesan) and her dwarf companion named Bucino (her pint sized pimp). The story unfolds in Venice of 1572.  Fiametta and Bucino have just escaped from a very turbulent Rome (where Fiametta is savagely beaten) and are forced to start their lives over.  Bucino enlists a blind healer named La Draga to help Fiametta regain her beauty. Before long Fiametta is back to her regular tricks (pun intended) and life is back to normal for the courtesan and her pimp.

I would love to give you more details but I don't want to spoil it and well, the details left to tell aren't all that interesting. Characters are made to look incredibly important and then they are suddenly out of the story-without explanation-imagine how frustrating that was. The book ended with a very large un-answered question but not in the way that makes you intrigued, but in the way that makes you horribly confused.

The odd thing is that I really liked the two main characters. I wanted to know more about Fiametta and Bucino but was distracted by the revolving door of lesser characters. Overall I was pretty disappointed by this novel. Sarah Dunant is a wonderful historian and a great writer and it seems as though there were a few errors in editing with this novel. If you are interested in Sarah Dunant I highly suggest her novel, The Birth of Venus.

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