Hers is the most famous portrait in the world. Here, in prose as rich as the high Renaissance, is Mona Lisa's tale. A story of passion, loss, and, above all, love.
Elisabetta longs for romance, though she thinks she's too plain. Then, on a visit to Florence, she catches the eye of the great Leonardo da Vinci, and falls for a boy, Giuliano de Medici. It's a dangerous time to be involved with a Medici. As tragedy and chaos threaten their happiness, Elisabetta faces the bittersweet truth of love.
One of the great mysteries, the secret of Mona Lisa's smile, is captivatingly addressed in this fictional history of the woman who posed for Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting. Readers will immediately warm up to Elisabetta, who is down-to-earth and hardworking despite being a member of the nobility. First met when she is just shy of 13, she is shepherded through Florence by her family friend Leonardo, who recognizes her potential: "Mysteries promise in those limpid eyes," he tells her, "as though you're watching and waiting. As though nothing will really surprise you. It's unsettling." Yearning for Giuliano de' Medici, youngest son of the most powerful and influential Florentine family, she reluctantly agrees to marry another man when political upheaval tears her and Giuliano apart; years later, fleetingly reunited, Giuliano commissions Leonardo to paint her portrait. Napoli (Stones in Water) conjures the atmosphere of Renaissance Florence as Elisabetta, a country girl, is introduced to art, culture and conspicuous wealth during her trips to town. The historical detail and the romantic tragedy and redemption will prompt a closer inspection of Leonardo's masterpiece. Ages 12 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
First I have to say I read a lot of books, and I was thoroughly addicted to this one. It was well written, and made me really feel for the characters. I liked it, loved it even. It was very historical and I didn't realize some of the main characters were actually real people, it made it even more pleasant that they were truly apart of history! Two thumbs up!
Out of all the books I had read, this had to be the best books i had ever read.
I love history and now romance. The history in this book is just wonderful, it makes me want to
be in that part of time. The way you described her smile and Leonardo da Vinci was just BREATH TAKING!
I love your work, it inspired me to write! Romance I do not like but this story was so CUTE I just could not put
it down! Donna Jo Napoli keep up the good work! You are the greatest and write more of these books!