Renaissance is a word with hope infused in every letter.
Since she was a child, Meg has dreamed of taking a promised trip to Florence, Italy, and being able to finally step into the place captured in a picture at her grandmother’s house. But after her grandmother passes away and it falls to her less-than-reliable father to take her instead, Meg’s long-anticipated travel plans seem permanently on hold.
When her dad finally tells Meg to book the trip, she prays that the experience will heal the fissures left on her life by her parents’ divorce. But when Meg arrives in Florence, her father is nowhere to be found, leaving aspiring memoir-writer Sophia Borelli to introduce Meg to the rich beauty of the ancient city. Sofia claims to be one of the last surviving members of the Medici family and that a long-ago Medici princess, Nora Orsini, communicates with her from within the great masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance.
When Sophia, Meg, and Nora’s stories intersect, their lives will be indelibly changed as they each answer the question: What if renaissance isn’t just a word? What if that’s what happens when you dare to believe that what is isn’t what has to be?
My Review: I’m actually not sure how I feel about this book. There is no doubt it was beautifully written, and that the stories of the characters are interwoven quite well, but I’m left feeling empty having read this book. The story-lines I was most interested in were not prominently featured, and I found myself a little bored with the ones that were. I was often left confused when jumping between the different characters lives and found myself not caring about some if it. This is published as Christian fiction, yet I was left with a feeling of hopelessness after reading this book. I did not find any Christian tones in it, and I am a fan of subtle tones in Christian fiction, but I felt a real lack of even that. I felt like the message was life is disappointing, so living, at least partly, in a fantasy world is okay. I am a fan of Susan Meissner’s previous works, but this one left me feeling nothing but depressed and disappointed.
*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Susan Meissner is an award-winning author whose books include The Shape of Mercy, Lady in Waiting, and A Sound Among the Trees. She is the wife of an Air Force chaplain and a mother of four young adults. When she’s not writing, Susan directs the Small Groups and Connection Ministries program at her San Diego church.