Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Rosetti Letter


I picked up The Rosetti Letter by Christi Phillips at the OKC library book sale earlier this year. It's sort of like the Da Vinci Code, only not as intriguing or controversial. The bare bones of the story is the same, but you won't feel like you're about to be struck down by lightening while reading it! Unfortunately, you won't be as entertained either. It does have a good story though, it's just not a can't put it down till I'm done kind of read like Brown's stuff. It's about a woman pursuing her PhD in history. She's working on her dissertation and goes to Venice as a baby-sitter/companion for a 14-year-old really spoiled girl. She uses that time to conduct research for her dissertation and to spy on a professor who is about to publish a book on the same topic. Her dissertation centers around Alessandra Rossetti and her role in the Spanish Conspiracy, and half of the book is told through her perspective during the 1600s. Although the conspiracy is real, Rossetti and some of the other characters and events from the past are not. Although she wasn't real, she was still interesting to read about and Phillips including a lot details about what life would be like in Venice during that time. I thought the details about being a courtesan were wrong though. She kept defining courtesan as a high society prostitute, but that's not exactly right. I did check on that and the word was used a little differently in Italy than in England, but it seemed in Italy it still really just referred to a mistress of a high-powered man, not an actual prostitute. That bugged me. But I liked the main character and still somehow enjoyed teh story despite the flaws, and if you like Dan Brown type of historical mysteries that are more conspiracy theory than fact, you'd probably like this too.

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