Friday, April 28, 2017

"The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence"

Alyssa Palombo is a graduate of Canisius College with degrees in English and creative writing, as well as a trained classical musician. The Violinist of Venice, her debut novel, was released in late 2015.

Palombo applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence: A Story of Botticelli, and reported the following:
From page 69:
“In any case,” my mother said as, much to my surprise, she began to move toward the door, “I shall leave you young women to your talk. So very lovely to meet you, Donna Medici.”

“Likewise,” Clarice murmured, and my mother left the sitting room.

I had thought for certain that my mother would wish to stay, to listen in on our gossip, and to cultivate a connection of her own to the Medici family. Yet perhaps she wished for me to become accustomed to receiving and entertaining my own callers, as I would soon need to do as Marco’s wife.
On page 69 of The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence Clarice de’ Medici – wife of the famous Lorenzo – comes to call on the main character and narrator, Simonetta. They had just been introduced at a dinner given by the Medici family, and Clarice is eager to continue their acquaintance. In this scene Simonetta is excited and flattered by the visit, and also aware of the fact – as her mother is – that as a woman about to be married she will soon be receiving her own visitors as the lady of a house. It is another step in becoming an adult in this time and place.

I think this page represents well some of the changes in Simonetta’s life as she comes to Florence for her marriage, as well as establishing relationships between herself and her mother, and herself and Clarice. I would certainly think (or hope!) that someone reading this page would be inclined to read more of the book to learn more about the relationships between these characters, and about Simonetta’s relationship to her new home city.
Visit Alyssa Palombo's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Violinist of Venice.

--Marshal Zeringue