Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Book(s) o' the Month(s): The Birth of Venus and The Rent Tent

I recently read two works of historical fiction, both New York Times Bestsellers, The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant and The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. I would recommend both books--just click on the links above to go to the authors' pages for plot summaries.

The Birth of Venus takes place in 15th century Florence, Italy. As an artist, I enjoyed reading about artists and imaging that world. It was a bit like being back in art history class. And it was a real page-turner.

The Red Tent takes place in biblical times and is the imagined story of Dinah. I was captivated by the reverence for the strong women characters as child bearers, mothers, caretakers, matriarchs, etc., etc. And ever since reading this book, I seriously wish I had a rent tent to go to once a month.

I blasted through each of these books as fast as a mama can, stealing minutes at a time, and staying up much too late at night reading. While each story was indeed engrossing and entertaining, I longed for more intricate prose. However, I realize that writing in the style of either time period would be a challenge for both author and reader. (Have you ever read Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales?)

I think I'll stick with 19th through mid-20th century lit for a while--it's back to contemporary historical fiction (does that make any sense at all??) for me!

(I'm joining in with Turn the Page ... Tuesday today over at Some of a Kind!)

6 comments:

  1. The Red Tent is my favorite book of all time, I have read it over and over. Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those books sound interesting - I loved my art hx class in college - I just didn't like taking the tests - hah!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Regina RosenzweigMay 3, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    loved the red tent. I agree with Becky. It's one of my favs.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I read and loved both of these books! I even read The Red Tent twice! If you liked these, you may also enjoy "Remarkable Creatures," which is loosely based on true story that takes place in the 19th century. I love historical fiction!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've seen The Red Tent on several reviews and really need to add it to my wish list. Sounds really good!

    ReplyDelete
  6. These both sound good. I read a book about an indian girl. In this book the had a hut the women whent to each month. The where brought food & what ever they needed. I've often thought this was a good idea.

    ReplyDelete