Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Nonna's Book of Mysteries by Mary Osborne

Fourteen-year-old Emilia wants nothing more than to become a painter, but during the fourteenth century in Italy, that's near impossible. That is until Makarios, a foreign painter, recognizes her talent and asks her to become his apprentice. As Makarios's apprentice, Emilia gets more worldly exposure and maturity, and, through an old family treasure, she gleans wisdom.

At first, this book seemed really interesting; it's talking about Renaissance Italy! How could someone write a boring book in that time period? Apparently, Mary Osborne can. The author certainly did her research, and she tries to show this by cramming a copious amount of factual information into her novel. Did she really need to put Italian words in every other sentence? Not only that, the author has no writing style; as my English teacher would put it, she needs more showing and less telling. The book is a huge mix of cliched storylines, and the plot is not captivating. She uses so many foreign names for the characters that I had a hard time remembering who is who. The author's characterization is faulty; even her main character is flat. In her historical fiction novel, Mary Osborne's certainly got the historical part down, just not the fiction.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Hinsdale, IL US

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