The Second Mrs. Giocondaby E. L. Konigsburg
138 pages, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by Nienna
Fun read, but poor morals.
PlotSalai is the ten year-old-apprentice of Leonardo da Vinci with no talent, but great cleverness. As the years pass, Salai helps his master, befriends the duchess, and eventually commissions the Mona Lisa.
MoralityThe main character is a liar, thief, and glutton, yet he is portrayed as very likable and his faults are actually shown as helpful. He takes pleasure in teasing and making fools of those people he does not like. He is loyal, however, and makes sure to support his sister.
Spiritual ContentA few references to the church, monks, God, the devil, heaven, etc. There is some superstition. Salai uses the word d**n a coupe of times.
ViolenceIn the beginning there is mention that the main character will be hanged if he continues his thieving ways. A main character dies.
Drug and Alcohol ContentNone.
Sexual ContentThe duke of Milan has at least one mistress and possibly another. His wife is wed to him at the age of sixteen.
Crude or Profane Language or ContentLeonardo and Salai visit the duke while he is taking a bath and he gets out in front of them. Salai uses the word "pee" once in reference to horses. He vomits all over a couple of men.
ConclusionThough an interesting take on the origin of the Mona Lisa, I cannot recommend the book as anything but an enjoyable read. The book very strongly impresses one's mind with the idea that such things as lying and stealing are acceptable and possibly even admirable. Also, the statements it makes about the characters and facts seem to have little historical foundation.
|Written for Age:||11-12|
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