Daughter of Venice
The book Daughter of Venice by Jo Napoli takes place in Venice during the late sixteenth century. Donata knows that only her older siblings, her brother and sister, will be able to marry and all her brothers get the opportunity for an education and get to learn about and be part of the outside world. Donata wonders what the world outside her home is like therefore a plan is made and later on she wanders through Venice secretly dressed up as a boy, with the help of her twin sister and others, and is amazed at what she sees and learns. Later on in the book Donata is told she will get to marry, because of some changes, since she shares the third oldest place with her twin sister. But Donata is interested more in learning about education and the world and later finds out she is in love with a man she met when she wandered through Venice.
I am sure that in one way or another you have heard of how women all around the world, in the past, and today are worth very little to many people. Personally my preference of books is not historical fiction but this book was really great and informed me a lot about how people acted, thought, and talked in that specific time, which left me surprised. At the end of the book I felt sad at how things worked a long time ago and I am glad to not be a girl from that era. I recommend this book because this is history everyone should learn about and it is an enjoyable to read book.
Donata and her obedient sister Laura are the oldest girls in their family save for Andriana, the only one who is expected to marry. Without a miracle, the others will go to a convent- a fate that Laura is willing to make the best of but that Donata cannot tolerate. She cannot imagine being shut up forever.
I bought this book at Borders this past winter, and ever since I have been glad I did- it is a quick read but a good and informative one- something you want to come back to again and again. One thing I do not like about this book is the cover- the red-gowned girl on the cover does not really capture the personality of Donata, intellectual and free spirited. But the longing in her eyes is accurate, and the bittersweet ending should satisfy readers who like books to finish happily but realistically.
This book would be interesting to any girl wanting to persue a higher degree in a subject because it shows that same interest in a girl who lived hundreds of years ago and describes the obstacles she must overcome to reach that goal.