Monday, July 1, 2013

The Creation of Eve (4)

I was just in Moon Over Buffalo, which was delightful, but I had 30 pages offstage in Act 2, so I desperately needed a book, but I haven’t been having any luck. Basically, I’ve been going through this phase where I don’t want to read on my Kindle. I know! Quel horreur. I seriously wish there was a way that I could have a physical copy and a Kindle copy of every book. The world would be a better place if books could be ripped like CDs.

the only time Eileen smiled in the entire show

 Anywho, it was Friday, I was about to go to my show, and I had enough time to go to the library, but not enough time to actually think through what I was going to get from the library. I put several things on hold, but none that were physically at the library and I needed something, so I just started walking down the aisles. All I knew was that I wanted a satisfying love story. Like Pride and Prejudice level satisfying but without all the work of reading a classic novel.

I picked up many books before The Creation of Eve. Mostly they were the one’s on display. Nothing sounded good. The Creation of Eve looked pretty. Maybe a little like Girl with a Pearl Earring, which I liked. And printed across bottom-right on the cover were two words: “enormously satisfying” – Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants. Sold.

Sofonisba "Sofi" Anguissola is a student of Michelangelo when she falls in love with Tibero, her fellow student. After they are caught alone together, Sofi runs home, hoping that he will send for her. Instead, the King of Spain invites Sofi to be lady-in-waiting and painting teacher to his third wife, 15-year-old Catherine de Medici. Sofi quickly becomes Catherine's closest friend and sole confidant, and Sofi helps the young queen to learn how to make Felipe happy. Meanwhile, Felipe's sole child Carlos begins to fall in love with the queen. And the queen has her eye on a courtier...

I am a sucker for good historical fiction and what I will call "tasteful romance novels" and this satisfied my need for a love story with real heart. I loved Sofi, I loved the impetuous queen, and I wanted desperately for them to each get everything they wanted.

Lynn Cullen crafted this book well, weaving dramas and flushing out the facts of history into a beautiful story. I wished that the novel had lasted to a more satisfactory ending, as Cullen unfortunately had to stick to the facts, but only the best books leave you wishing that there were more pages to come.

If you like Philippa Gregory, you will LOVE this book. I would compare it most to The Virgin's Lover, because that one felt the most well balanced. I think I have to contain myself from reading everything Lynn Cullen has ever written and burning myself out and never wanting to read her again. 
And if you haven’t read Girlwith a Pearl Earring, go read that too. And The Lady and the Unicorn. Both by Tracy Chevalier. Maybe I just really like books based on paintings. I wonder if there’s one about the Mona Lisa? Oooh, I loved Da Vinci Code.

Has anyone read the new Dan Brown? Should I bother? Or is it as bad as The Lost Symbol (#3)? Anyone?

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