March 16, 2010

Review: The Creation of Eve

The Creation of Eve
by Lynn Cullen

From the back cover:
"The Creation of Eve is a novel based on the true but little-known story of Sofonisba Anguissola, the first renowned female artist of the Renaissance. After a scandal in Michelangelo's workshop, Sofi flees Italy and joins the Spanish court of King Felipe II to be a lady-in-waiting to his young bride. There she becomes embroiled in a love triangle involving the Queen, the King, and the King's illegitimate half brother, Don Juan. The Creation of Eve combines art, romance, and history from the Golden Age in Spain in a story that asks the question: Can you ever truly know another person's heart?"

The Renaissance is probably my favorite historical period. The art and wisdom of the time was amazing. So to read about the lives of some of the more influential personages of the sixteenth century is always a treat.

Before reading this novel I had never heard of Sofonisba Anguissola. I knew very little about King Philip except the Spanish Inquisition. I really only knew about the great artistic pieces of Michelangelo. I've gained so much knowledge about life in the royal courts and the expectations and hardships of women in this time and place in history. It is quite fascinating.

The story is told slowly at first, but told well. Sofi felt real and natural. There is a good balance between keeping her within her historical context yet making her sympathetic for modern audiences. King Felipe is painted with a sympathetic eye as well. The author explains in a note at the end of the book that she believes him to have been vilified throughout history.

I would certainly recommend The Creation of Eve to historical fiction buffs and those who enjoy a good story about royalty and/or the Renaissance. It won't disappoint.

Thank you TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of The Creation of Eve for review. As always, it has been a pleasure to work with you.


Aimee said...

I'll put it on my list - thanks!

Good to see you back. I've missed you. :)

bermudaonion said...

This sounds wonderful!

trish said...

I love that the author adds a note at the end that she believes King Felipe has been villified throughout history. Historians are so intent on historical accuracy, but I think it's important to remember that there are many different viewpoints about history!

Thanks for being on this tour!

Lisa said...

I've seen this one around and been interested. It's an interesting period and who can resist Don Juan! Thanks for the review.

Zibilee said...

I am also on this tour for later this month. I loved this book and thought the author did an incredible job with the story and characters. Glad that you liked it so much, it was a really great read!

Lynn Cullen said...

Thank you for the lovely review on your lovely site. I'm glad you brought up that I think Felipe has been misrepresented by historians in the past. The poor man has been maligned for centuries. It felt good to help set the record straight.

Tribute Books said...

Thanks! for the good review, will add it to my pile.