This was my first book by Stephen Maitland-Lewis and now I am eager to read some of his earlier works. In full disclosure, I received an advance copy of this book free through NetGalley.com in exchange for a review. I do not finish or review books I do not like. Life is too short to read uninteresting books. The fact I am reviewing this book means I liked it.
I found Botticelli’s Bastard a creative, intriguing, well-researched, page-turning fantasy cum mystery about the history of a painting as told by the subject on the canvas. Yes, the painting speaks to the London based Italian art restorer, Giovanni Fabrizzi, who received it in a crate along with other works following the death of his father. Fabrizzi, who is still mourning the death of his wife, first believes he is hallucinating when the painting begins to talk and tells Fabrizzi he was painted by Botticelli. The painting is unsigned and nobody who views the painting suspects it was painted by the Renaissance master. So begin the tales with the painting describing its own circuitous history from its origins in the Pitti Palace in Florence to present day London. Despite strong doubts about the subject’s claims and his own sanity, Fabrizzi agrees to submit the painting for an analysis to determine the painting’s authenticity.
I originally requested the book because of my love for Botticelli’s art. But I discovered a lovely story that involved all of my favorite themes reminiscent of a Greek play – history, Italy, romance, art, heartache, introspection, intrigue, mystery, detective work, good & evil, forgiveness, redemption, guilt, triumph and tragedy.
The book is now available on Amazon.com.