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The Medici Boy by John L'Heureux

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The worlds of art, politics and passion collide in John L’Heureux’s masterful new novel, The Medici Boy. With rich composition, L’Heureux ingeniously transports the reader to Donatello’s Renaissance Italy—directly into his bottega, (workshop), as witnessed through the eyes of Luca Mattei, a devoted assistant. While creating his famous bronze of David and Goliath, Donatello’s passion for his enormously beautiful model and part time rent boy, Agnolo, ignites a dangerous jealousy that ultimately leads to Agnolo’s brutal murder. Luca, the complex and conflicted assistant, will sacrifice all to save the life of Donatello, even if it means the life of the master sculptor’s friend and great patron of art, Cosimo de’ Medici. John L’Heureux’s long-awaited novel delivers both a monumental and intimate narrative of the creative genius, Donatello, at the height of his powers. With incisive detail, L’Heureux beautifully renders the master sculptor’s forbidden homosexual passions, and the artistry that enthralled the powerful and highly competitive Medici and Albizzi families. The finished work is a sumptuously detailed historical novel that entertains while it delves deeply into both the sacred and the profane within one of the Italian Renaissance’s most consequential cities, fifteenth century Florence.

Goodreads Summary

Ready for an exciting summer read?  The author does a wonderful job of painting a picture of what is going on for the reader as soon as he/she opens the novel.  The reader will begin to see Donatello via Luca Mattei, an assistant.  It is easy to see why Luca adores Donatello so much.  The novel begins with a bang when Agnolo is murdered due to a jealous person who disliked how much Donatello loved Agnolo.  The novel touches on homosexuality in the time of the Renaissance.  The reader will enjoy the author's take on Donatello's love life and how others react to him.

I really enjoyed the characters.  They felt like people I would go to see in a play: dramatic with confidence in spades.  I have always read about the awesome Medici family.  I loved being able to read another book with hints of Medici splendor in it.  The author is one of the few I can think of who portrays love as something to be valued but feared.  Love leads to pain and problems in the Renaissance period for some.  It was refreshing to see an author acknowledge a different side of the emotion.  Donatello is certainly a master of his craft, but he is an enigma.  The author develops his character but always leaves hints of mystery and guarantees that the reader will want more.  As soon as I finished the book, I ran to look up books to enrich my knowledge of Donatello.  This book is recommended to adult readers.

4 Stars

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  1. bn100 said...:

    This sounds suspenseful