The beautiful young Alessandra, daughter of Lorenzo de Medici, is to pose for a celebratory portrait by the young Arnaldo in preparation for her marriage to an almost senile old man. Arnaldo first arrives prepared to murder Lorenzo and avenge his father and family who were wiped out by the Medicis but over time he comes to both admire Lorenzo and love Alessandra. There are many echoes of Romeo and Juliet and this is a wonderfully vivid and dangerous but more discreet affair with the added interest of Leonardo da Vinci’s appearances. Intercut into this is a modern story, the unravelling of the past events through the rediscovered painting and the laying to rest of ghosts which seem to have been accompanied by disasters whenever they have appeared. The story of the past is beautifully reconstructed particularly in the delicate creation of Alessandra’s and Arnaldo’s emotions, largely through looks during the chaperoned sessions while the painting is created. It is hauntingly tragic and there is a magic in this pared down and subtle story which is largely missing from the contemporary one which is crowded with characters and events. The whole has the feel of a slightly mistuned radio signal. I’d like to see the full force of Chamings’ imagination come through by focusing on that past and trusting his readers, maybe more sophisticated than he is allowing for, to follow him there.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Richard Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Richard Hill2007-09-01 13:00:512023-02-17 13:03:36The Medici Curse