The other storyline follows Anne, a typist in the archival department of the Louvre during WWII. With the French Occupation looming, Anne is enlisted to join her colleagues on a courageous endeavor to hide several valuable works of art from the invading Nazis. Often narrowly avoiding discovery, this team of brave museum workers travel throughout France, secretly storing the Louvre’s precious assets, including the most prized of masterpieces, the Mona Lisa. Over time, Anne transforms from a simple, unassuming typist to an active and respected member of the Resistance.
The Stolen Lady by Laura Morelli is a great read for those who enjoy historical fiction. Told through alternating storylines, the reader is introduced to a mercurial Leonardo DaVinci. We witness his pursuit of lasting recognition in artistry and innovation during the turbulent political atmosphere of turn of the 15th century Italy. We also are allowed a window (although completely theorized) into the life of his most famous muse, Lisa Gherardini, the subject of the Mona Lisa. Lisa’s story is documented from the perspective of her most loyal, and long-standing servant, Bellina. Interestingly enough, as the novel progresses Bellina’s role in driving the narrative becomes more and more apparent, and the character of Lisa is increasingly relegated to the background, remaining as enigmatic as her captured smile will famously come to be.
The Stolen Lady is informative and entertaining. There’s intrigue, drama, action, and romance. A clearly well-researched work. And I loved the depiction of DaVinci. His catty jealousy of the rising success of Michelangelo is giggle-worthy. Grrrr.
One thought on “Book Review Time (condensed version): The Stolen Lady”
Reblogged this on The Writing Life and commented:
“One cannot always tell what it is that keeps us shut in, confines us, seems to bury us, but still one feels certain barriers, certain gates, certain walls. is all this imagination, fantasy? ….”
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