I, Mona Lisa

I, Mona Lisa

by Jeanne Kalogridis
4.1 59

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Overview

I, Mona Lisa by Jeanne Kalogridis

"My name is Lisa di Antonio Gherardini Giocondo, though to acquaintances, I am known simply as Madonna Lisa. My story begins not with my birth but a murder, committed the year before I was born…"

Florence, April 1478: The handsome Giuliano de' Medici is brutally assassinated in Florence's magnificent Duomo. The shock of the murder ripples throughout the great city, from the most renowned artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, to a wealthy wool merchant and his extraordinarily beautiful daughter, Madonna Lisa. More than a decade later, Florence falls under the dark spell of the preacher Savonarola, a fanatic who burns paintings and books as easily as he sends men to their deaths. Lisa, now grown into an alluring woman, captures the heart of Giuliano's nephew and namesake. But when Guiliano, her love, meets a tragic end, Lisa must gather all her courage and cunning to untangle a sinister web of illicit love, treachery, and dangerous secrets that threatens her life. Set against the drama of 15th Century Florence, I, Mona Lisa is painted in many layers of fact and fiction, with each intricately drawn twist told through the captivating voice of Mona Lisa herself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781429943444
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 11/24/2008
Pages: 740
Product dimensions: 1.63(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Jeanne Kalogridis lives with her partner on the West Coast, where they share a house with two dogs. She is the author of The Borgia Bride, The Scarlet Contessa, The Devil's Queen, and other dark fantasy and historical novels. Born in Florida, Kalogridis has a B.A. in Russian and a master's in linguistics, and taught English as a second language at The American University for eight years before retiring to write full-time.

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I, Mona Lisa 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Hill_Ravens More than 1 year ago
Wow, what a delightful find! A trip through ancient Italy with an all star cast, da Vinci, Michelangelo, the Medici family, the Pazzi family and of course Mona Lisa and her family. The book is a good blend of historical fiction and non-fiction creating a garden of delightful tales in an otherwise bloody point in Florence's history. A new twist as to who Mona Lisa is, at least one I haven't heard of before; and a well told family story to go along with it. The book has everything one could want; action, adventure, villains, unlikely heroes, tragedy, murder, passion, revenge. I am looking forward to trying another book by Jeanne Kalogridis, her writing style was a breath of fresh air and built a world that was not only believable but somewhere I didn't want to leave when the book ended. Godere!
ioancoraimparo More than 1 year ago
The story takes place in Renaissance Florence and incorporates many sites, people and events of the period. The portrait of Savanarola is strong, and seems quite accurate, however, it appears the author has taken quite a bit of liberties with other actual people, and that's confusing and disconcerting. It would be better if she'd limited her imagination to those characters she invented while constraining her accounts of historial people by actual, reliable facts. Aside from that it is an interesting read, painting a vivid picture of upper class lifestyles during this period against the poverty of the struggling worker classes. It also quite accurately portrays the instability of a government that yearned to be a republic as long as their own people where in charge, and the ruthless tactics required to retain power. But if that truly interests you, read Machiavelli. This is fiction and should be read as such. Slow starting, gains interest about mid-way. Characters are lively, but not always well-developed. Some are even conflicting. However, the suspense builds and is not resolved until the very end, which does make for a good story.
emmi331 More than 1 year ago
Far-fetched but enjoyable tale of the lady behind the mysterious smile in the portrait of the Mona Lisa. Lisa Ghirardini, who later becomes the wife of Francesco Giacondo, a well-to-do merchant in Florence, becomes involved in treachery, murder, and religious terror during the time of Savonarola (who seems to have been given a bum rap by history). Ms. Kalogridis plays fast and loose with historical facts when Lisa marries Giuliano de Medici, who actually married a member of a prominent family, while Lisa remained married to Francesco Giocomo for decades and bore him several children. But never mind that, the story is a real page-turner and could even be classified as a thriller. Good reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love historical fiction and this book was a great read!
KirstenMarie More than 1 year ago
Overall, I really liked this book. Because I read through it so fast, sometimes I would confuse certain characters. The plot was really well done and I certainly applaud that! I think the very beginning of the book could have moved a bit faster as well. The Lisa and Guiliano romance had a strong Romeo and Juliet vibe to it, but that was okay with me. I would recommend this book to any historical fiction reader.
vanilla2976 More than 1 year ago
This book was great! The reader gets to meet so many famous characters of the Italian Renaissance. I had some misgivings about whether it would be cheesy to try to make a story about how a painting came about, but they were quickly proven unfounded. I thouroughly enjoyed this one. I bought it forever ago and only recently read it because I had some issues with the download. But they fixed it & all is well.
MsDollie More than 1 year ago
Very good read. Fictionalized storyline was fast paced, with romance, mystery and wonderful historic detail of actual historic events and characters. I would consider reading again and highly recommend it for a first time read.
StacieRosePittard More than 1 year ago
On one hand this is a very well written book with lots of research behind it. I was drawn in right away, and my interest held through the entire novel. I learned a lot about historical Florence, particularly dealing with the Medici dynasty. It was a captivating novel all the way through and I fully enjoyed it. However, I can only give it three stars. It is obvious the author put in a lot of research. The novel was packed with historical information. That is why it was severely disappointing how she portrayed the main character Lisa. Lisa del Giocondo was a real person, and scholars are pretty certain that she is the face behind the famous Mona Lisa. While she made an effort to stick with actual history when dealing with the general atmosphere of the setting, she completely dismissed the history behind Lisa del Giocondo and the Mona Lisa. The Lisa in the book is in a situation completely opposite from the real life Lisa. In a Q&A section in the back of the book, the author spoke of how she wouldn't change what is historical fact. Unfortunate that is exactly what she did with Lisa's character. At one point she mentioned that there was not a lot known about Lisa del Giocondo, so she had a lot of room to take artistic liberties. That may be true for some details, but what we do know about Lisa del Giocondo was completely ignored in this novel. The author is a wonderful writer, but not so great at historical fiction. A truly gifted historical fiction writer could take historical fact and make it an interesting story without completely changing who a person was and what their life was like.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was historically accurate in regards to events occuring. It was interesting but the similar names were confusing.there are a lot of characters to keep up with. The climax was intense but rushed and short lived.the ending was satisfactory...nothing spectaclar.
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MELKI More than 1 year ago
It is quite an entertaining read, nothing more than an engaging story full of twists and plots involving the Medici clan and Leonardo DaVinci. By the end, it gets a little flat.
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