4 out of 4 stars
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I first became interested in The Girl Who Knew DaVinci by Belle Ami because of its unique title. It reminded me of the book series The DaVinci Code. I enjoyed those books, so I thought this would be worth a chance. It did not disappoint, and the book was actually more my type than I initially thought it would be. I’m certainly glad to have added this to my library.
In this story, Angela, an art historian in our current time, suffers from visions of past lives. Her mind bounces back to the time of DaVinci himself as well as to WWII. The visions only seem to worsen with time and, eventually, become emotionally unsettling as Angela soon realizes the two women’s lives she sees are actually her own past lives that did not end well. But, these vision serve a specific purpose and that is to find a long-lost DaVinci painting. An art detective enters her life and finds himself unequivocally drawn to Angela. There is more to their relationship than it seems. Together, they set off on a journey set in modern-day Europe to discover this mysterious art painting. It seems simple. However, Angela’s past lives warn that fate can be a cruel mistress and this task is far from easy. Angela’s former scum bag boss seeks the same painting as well, but he is willing to go to extreme lengths to obtain it, including murder. Luckily, Angela has the help of her past lives to guide her in the search as well as Alex, a very capable ex-military man.
I would give this book a 4 out of 4 stars. This book is for the reader who enjoys a writer’s attention to detail both big and small. The writer seamlessly meshes the past and the present. Whether I read about a past life or the present life of Angela, I was transported to that time period. I also enjoyed the relationship between Angela and Alex. The relationship is multidimensional which I love because it deepens my understanding of the characters. Also, I like that the relationship seemed to leap across time periods with the same undiluted passion.
I could not pinpoint what direction the book would take which is great for a reader looking for something less predictable. With each vision a clue would be revealed, leaving the reader fully invested in the discovery of the painting while simultaneously trying to solve the mystery. The story easily incorporates passion, history, suspense, thrill, fear, and raw emotion. I found myself crying, laughing, and longing for more. On top of it all, I felt that the villain’s characteristics in the story hinted to some of our relevant controversial political issues we see today such as sexual misconduct and abuse for females in the workplace. This was subtle, but oh so very well placed especially during the rise of the #metoo movement. However, to be clear, I do not believe this book was meant in any form or fashion to be political, which I greatly appreciate. I prefer the books I read stay out of that arena. I want to escape our world’s problems, not be constantly reminded of them. This tiny detail only enhanced the story and the reader’s ability to relate.
If I had one complaint or rather caution for potential readers, it would be the amount of information thrown at the reader right from the beginning. I can’t say this is a con for me. However, this is a book that demands attention as the details are elaborate and can be hard to keep up with. In the beginning, I struggled the most to keep up with the various characters, time periods, and details of the story. I found myself occasionally scanning previous chapters to be sure I completely understood. However, after a quarter of the way through the book, I no longer felt the need to rescan pages. By that time, I was able to keep up with the many lives and characters involved in this intricate story. Again, I would like to state I do not view this as a con, but rather a caution for future readers. I would also like to warn readers of the sexual nature of the book. While not too overwhelming, it is definitely an adult book. However, the sexual aspect of the book was in tune with the story. It flowed naturally, and I believe enhanced the storyline/relationship between the two main characters.
Overall, this was an amazing book. I believe it has a little something for every reader. I loved that I was unable to guess where the book would turn next. It was engaging throughout without a single dull moment or lull in the story. This is particularly challenging with stories as detailed as this one, but the author was able to accomplish it nearly effortlessly. The characters felt realistic across all time periods. The attention to detail, while a bit overwhelming at first, ended up being the reason I fell in love with this book. I hope to see a similar storyline with these same very lovable characters. If you have not read The Girl Who Knew DaVinci by Belle Ami, get it today. You will not be disappointed.
The Girl Who Knew Da Vinci
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