The Rossetti Letter

The Rossetti Letter

by Christi Phillips

Arlene Almas: I'd like to thank Erna for her recommendation - I enjoyed this double story of Alessandra, a 17th century Venetian courtesan, and present-day Claire, who is writing her dissertation on Alessandra and her connection to a possible conspiracy by agents working for Spain (a great world power at that time) to conquer Venice. Venice too was powerful, and very proud of her independence, and Alessandra is determined to keep her that way. Claire is very much a modern-day woman, completely fixated and passionate about her academic project, and although she finds it somewhat hard to make new friends, she does find herself developing relationships with a teenage girl she is chaperoning as well as interesting people she meets in Venice. This novel is a good deal: two stories in one!
Rating: ****

Erna Schneiderman: This is an historical novel of seventeenth century Venice, full of intrigue, history and written from a woman's viewpoint. Even if you haven't seen the movie, "The Honest Courtesan" (definitely recommended) or know about the courtesan's place in Venetian society, you can expect an enjoyable journey through Venice and Venetian Society. The book flips back and forth between the courtesan's life and the PhD candidate researching her for a dissertation. I enjoyed both characters very much and found the transitions interesting and well-done. I found this book on the bargain table at B&N and chose it because I have an interest in the subject and have enjoyed historical mysteries/thrillers before. This book did not dissappoint!
Rating: ****

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