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?
Once again, Susan Meissner carries us away to a past time as we look at the lives of two women, Nora Orsini and Meg Pomeroy who love Florence, Italy. Nora as she is preparing to marry and saying goodbye to her beautiful city. Meg fell in love with Florence through the eyes of her beloved Grandmother. Now her long awaited trip had finally arrived.
This is the third Meissner book I’ve read and overall, I enjoyed this story, it didn’t move me the way The Shape of Mercy did, but there are few books that will do that. I think the best part of the story was watching Meg come into her own. Meg in some ways reminded me of myself as I could relate with her dreams and her disappointment in the people she loved.
Reading about Meg’s time in Florence was also enjoyable as the author did paint a nice picture of what life might be like in the Florence of today as well as the Florence of yesteryear.
The thing that bothers me about Meissner’s books are the lack of a strong spiritual aspect. In this story there’s a reference to Meg’s mom being at a church function and Meg attends Mass with Sophia and says the occasional prayer. I personally enjoy stories that have more emphasis on the spiritual aspect of at least one character.
If you enjoy stories that blend history with the contemporary you should enjoy this story. If you enjoy books that are not “overly” Christian, but is a “clean” read you’ll enjoy this as well.
Disclaimer: I did receive this advance reader copy from the publishers I was under no obligation other than to give my honest opinion.