Title: The Giant: A Novel of Michelangelo's David
Author: Laura Morelli
Publisher: The Scriptorium
Publish Date: May 31, 2020
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "As a colossal statue
takes shape in Renaissance Florence, the lives of a master sculptor and a
struggling painter become stunningly intertwined.
Florence, 1500. Fresco painter Jacopo Torni longs to make his mark in the world. But while his peers enjoy prestigious commissions, his meager painting jobs are all earmarked to pay down gambling debts.
When Jacopo hears of a competition to create Florence's greatest sculpture, he pins all his hopes on a collaboration with his boyhood companion, Michelangelo Buonarroti. But will the frustrated artist ever emerge from the shadow of his singularly gifted friend?"
My Two Cents:
"The Giant" is the story of painter Jacopo Torni, who dreams of making a lasting mark on the art world with his painting. Instead, he is forced to take any job he can as long as it pays so he can pay down some longstanding debts. The jobs are not noteworthy and he finds himself jealous of the notoriety that so many of his fellow artists seem to be finding with ease. Suddenly he has the opportunity to hitch his star to his friend Michaelangelo, already famous in his own right, and Jacopo is ready to take a leap of faith!
This is a well-researched and fascinating story! I always have a soft spot for down on their luck characters and when the story opens, Jacopo just can't seem to make his way towards everything he is dreaming of. Obstacle after obstacle comes his way and while some of them are just bad luck, some of the difficult situations are of his own making. When the story opens, he seems to be aimless and lacking drive. Eventually that shifts as he begins to see a way forward, even if it means playing second fiddle instead of being the star. I loved seeing how he changed throughout the book!
The star of this book was really the world-building and the descriptions. The author takes us back to gorgeous Florence in the 1500s where everyone is racing to make the greatest art to change the art world and make their mark. It's an exciting place and with the detail that the author gives, it makes it easy to imagine that you are in the center of it all as the characters struggle against each other and with each other in order to push forward and achieve greatness.
This book was a perfect pick for when you are looking for an escape to a world filled with art and intrigue!