In the Company of the Courtesan

Sarah Dunant, Author . Random $23.95 (371p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6381-9

Renaissance Italy enchants in Dunant's delicious second historical (after The Birth of Venus ), as a wily dwarf Bucino Teodoldo recounts fantastic escapades with his mistress, celebrated courtesan Fiammetta Bianchini. Escaping the 1527 sacking of Rome with just the clothes on their backs (and a few swallowed jewels in their bellies), Fiammetta and Bucino seek refuge in Venice. Starved, stinking, her beauty destroyed, Fiammetta despairs—but through cunning, will, Bucino's indefatigable loyalty and the magic of a mysterious blind healer called La Draga, she eventually recovers. Aided by a former adversary, who now needs her as much as she needs him, Fiammetta finds a wealthy patron to establish her in her familiar glory. Through Bucino's sharp-eyed, sharp-tongued narration, Dunant crafts a vivid vision of Venetian life: the weave of politics and religion; the layers of class; the rituals, intrigue, superstitions and betrayals. Dunant's characters—the steely courtesan whose glimpse of true love nearly brings her to ruin; the shrewd and passionate dwarf who turns his abnormalities into triumph; and the healer whose mysterious powers and secrets leave an indelible mark on the duo—are irresistible throughout their shifting fortunes. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 10/24/2005
Release date: 02/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 1 pages - 978-1-4159-2681-9
Paperback - 408 pages - 978-1-84408-229-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7393-5361-5
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-2506-3
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 276 pages - 978-1-58836-550-7
Paperback - 385 pages - 978-0-8129-7404-1
Hardcover - 594 pages - 978-0-7393-2606-0
Hardcover - 408 pages - 978-0-316-02968-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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