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The Stolen Lady

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From the acclaimed author of The Night Portrait comes a stunning historical novel about two women, separated by five hundred years, who each hide Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa—with unintended consequences. France, 1939 At the dawn of World War II, Anne Guichard, a young archivist employed at the Louvre, arrives home to find her brother missing. While she works to discover hi From the acclaimed author of The Night Portrait comes a stunning historical novel about two women, separated by five hundred years, who each hide Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa—with unintended consequences. France, 1939 At the dawn of World War II, Anne Guichard, a young archivist employed at the Louvre, arrives home to find her brother missing. While she works to discover his whereabouts, refugees begin flooding into Paris, and German artillery fire rattles the city. Once they reach the city, the Nazis will stop at nothing to get their hands on the Louvre’s art collection. Anne is quickly sent to the Castle of Chambord, where the Louvre’s most precious artworks—including the Mona Lisa—are being transferred to ensure their safety. With the Germans hard on their heels, Anne frantically moves the Mona Lisa and other treasures again and again in an elaborate game of hide and seek. As the threat to the masterpieces and her life grows closer, Anne also begins to learn the truth about her brother, and the role he plays in this dangerous game. Florence, 1479 House servant Bellina Sardi’s future seems fixed when she accompanies her newly married mistress, Lisa Gherardini, to her home across the Arno. Lisa’s husband, a prosperous silk merchant, is aligned with the powerful Medici, his home filled with luxuries and treasures. But soon, Bellina finds herself bewitched by a charismatic monk who has urged Florentines to rise up against the Medici, and to empty their homes of the riches and jewels her new employer prizes. When Master Leonardo da Vinci is commissioned to paint a portrait of Lisa, Bellina finds herself tasked with hiding an impossible secret. When art and war collide, Leonardo da Vinci, his beautiful subject Lisa, and the portrait find themselves in the crosshairs of history. 


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From the acclaimed author of The Night Portrait comes a stunning historical novel about two women, separated by five hundred years, who each hide Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa—with unintended consequences. France, 1939 At the dawn of World War II, Anne Guichard, a young archivist employed at the Louvre, arrives home to find her brother missing. While she works to discover hi From the acclaimed author of The Night Portrait comes a stunning historical novel about two women, separated by five hundred years, who each hide Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa—with unintended consequences. France, 1939 At the dawn of World War II, Anne Guichard, a young archivist employed at the Louvre, arrives home to find her brother missing. While she works to discover his whereabouts, refugees begin flooding into Paris, and German artillery fire rattles the city. Once they reach the city, the Nazis will stop at nothing to get their hands on the Louvre’s art collection. Anne is quickly sent to the Castle of Chambord, where the Louvre’s most precious artworks—including the Mona Lisa—are being transferred to ensure their safety. With the Germans hard on their heels, Anne frantically moves the Mona Lisa and other treasures again and again in an elaborate game of hide and seek. As the threat to the masterpieces and her life grows closer, Anne also begins to learn the truth about her brother, and the role he plays in this dangerous game. Florence, 1479 House servant Bellina Sardi’s future seems fixed when she accompanies her newly married mistress, Lisa Gherardini, to her home across the Arno. Lisa’s husband, a prosperous silk merchant, is aligned with the powerful Medici, his home filled with luxuries and treasures. But soon, Bellina finds herself bewitched by a charismatic monk who has urged Florentines to rise up against the Medici, and to empty their homes of the riches and jewels her new employer prizes. When Master Leonardo da Vinci is commissioned to paint a portrait of Lisa, Bellina finds herself tasked with hiding an impossible secret. When art and war collide, Leonardo da Vinci, his beautiful subject Lisa, and the portrait find themselves in the crosshairs of history. 

30 review for The Stolen Lady

  1. 5 out of 5

    Natasha Lester

    Like the masterpiece she writes about, Laura Morelli has created a work of art that is impossible to forget. With beautifully rendered settings, expertly drawn characters and a storyline that immersed me from the very first page, THE STOLEN LADY is a wonderful homage to both art and the women in history who made art possible, but whose stories have been forgotten. A truly sublime novel.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    One woman is the person in the painting while the other woman is trying to save it. We meet Lisa Gherardini in 1497 whose wealthy husband wanted a portrait of her, and we meet Anne Guichard in 1939 who is employed at the Louvre and trying to keep this famous painting, The Mona Lisa, out of the hands of the Nazis. Leonardo Da Vinci is the artist who painted Lisa's portrait. Many interesting facts about this painting that traveled far and wide to keep it safe. All three people are tied together by t One woman is the person in the painting while the other woman is trying to save it. We meet Lisa Gherardini in 1497 whose wealthy husband wanted a portrait of her, and we meet Anne Guichard in 1939 who is employed at the Louvre and trying to keep this famous painting, The Mona Lisa, out of the hands of the Nazis. Leonardo Da Vinci is the artist who painted Lisa's portrait. Many interesting facts about this painting that traveled far and wide to keep it safe. All three people are tied together by this one painting even though the connection is hundreds of years apart. Lisa's maid, Bellina Sardi, is a side part of this trio, but she has an important role of keeping her mistress safe, but is also asked to spy on and steal from the wealthy family she works for by the Medici. Marvelous research as always and an educational trip through history as we learn about the woman behind that Mona Lisa smile, Leonardo Da Vinci, how the Mona Lisa took many trips and was hidden many times, and life during this time in history. 5/5 This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Madeline Martin

    The Stolen Lady is a beautifully written, must-read story of the incredible journey of the Mona Lisa set amid two turbulent times in history. Laura Morelli offers a well-researched and richly told tale that captivated my attention from the first page.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    Written in three voices: Leonardo (Italy 1400’s), Bellina (Italy 1400’s) and Anne (Paris 1939+) I love books about art and I love books about WWII. This one said nothing to hold my interest. After 100 pages I gave it up. Bellina is fictional as is Anne and both were insipid. Leonardo was uninspired. The story of art treasures being removed from the Louvre for safe-keeping as war is looming over Europe is already well known and written about.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Patricia E Yarian

    I just can't help but give this a 5star rating! Extraordinary story of the life and times of Mona Lisa....how she was created by the great Leonardo and how she was saved! The research was definitely up to point! As I have studied, researched some in dealing with the Holocaust, the underbelly of the Nazi regime....Ms.Morelli has given us a glimpse of what Anne and her colleagues, and the "rebel-gorilla" civilian "corps" endured to keep, save precious art and artifacts! Am so glad I received this as I just can't help but give this a 5star rating! Extraordinary story of the life and times of Mona Lisa....how she was created by the great Leonardo and how she was saved! The research was definitely up to point! As I have studied, researched some in dealing with the Holocaust, the underbelly of the Nazi regime....Ms.Morelli has given us a glimpse of what Anne and her colleagues, and the "rebel-gorilla" civilian "corps" endured to keep, save precious art and artifacts! Am so glad I received this as a "gift" from the author /Netgalley for a honest review. I could go into deep, detailed words about what I've read here. But if I were to do this, I would be telling you the entire book! Just know that Lisa (the actual woman behind that beautiful smile we all love, and wonder just what she really thought, felt as she posed for the great DaVinci) and about Anne, the young lady that truly loved this work of art-precious, and irreplaceable -- and the perils all three survived! 500+years apart!! So, on that note, just know you won't be sorry if you decide to pick this one up. And you can bet, you'll just might find yourself looking things up in the encyclopedia of your choice,(I use the Americana Encyclopedias that my folks bought while my dad was active duty -these were only sold on military posts/bases with updated annuals yearly-rec'd our last one 1971 when dad retired after 30yrs!) And the Brittanica -- yeah,yeah I know that's so "old school" but let me tell ya my granddaughter thought it was "a hoot gramma" and she learned a lot more about DaVinci (As I did) and the Louvre and the precious/priceless art that was saved from destruction...so yes, grab a cuppa something, a snAck and settle in and enjoy a good read (no pun intended😁) as you can see, I did!--P/

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christine Mott

    The Stolen Lady By: Laura Morelli 4⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1939-France Anne Guichard, is an employee at the Louvre. She comes home and discovers her brother is missing. As WWII is approaching refugees are seeking solace in Paris, while German artillery is a constant. As the Nazis are invading Paris it is clear the art in the Louvre is in danger. Anne is embarking on an adventure to help save some of the priceless artwork including the Mona Lisa. In the midst of this she discovers more about her brother. 🇫🇷 1479-Fra The Stolen Lady By: Laura Morelli 4⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1939-France Anne Guichard, is an employee at the Louvre. She comes home and discovers her brother is missing. As WWII is approaching refugees are seeking solace in Paris, while German artillery is a constant. As the Nazis are invading Paris it is clear the art in the Louvre is in danger. Anne is embarking on an adventure to help save some of the priceless artwork including the Mona Lisa. In the midst of this she discovers more about her brother. 🇫🇷 1479-France Bellina Sardi is a house servant and travels with her mistress Lisa Gherardini to her new home across Arno. The home is filled with treasures as her new husband is a silk merchant. A monk is trying to charm Bellina into stealing some of the treasures of her mistress to help rise up against Medici, whom is friends with the mistresses husband. 🇫🇷 Leonardo da Vinci is commissioned to paint a portrait of Lisa, and Bellina struggles with hiding a secret. Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and his passion for his subject are evident. 🇫🇷 I recommend this to anyone who loves art history. novel is emerged in history and what it took to hide such precious works of art. #thestolenlady, #lauramorelli, #harpercollins, #bookstagram, #historicalfiction, #booksconnectus, #stamperlady50

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    The Stolen Lady is told from three perspectives: Anne in France during WWII, and Leonardo and Bellina in Italy in the late 1400s and early 1500s. It is the story of the creation of the Mona Lisa and the painting's journey while hiding from the Nazis. What I liked: -I love historical fiction, especially during WWII. This was a perspective I hadn't followed before and it was interesting to see how the Louvre staff took care of priceless artwork. -I like how the author ended one POV with an idea and b The Stolen Lady is told from three perspectives: Anne in France during WWII, and Leonardo and Bellina in Italy in the late 1400s and early 1500s. It is the story of the creation of the Mona Lisa and the painting's journey while hiding from the Nazis. What I liked: -I love historical fiction, especially during WWII. This was a perspective I hadn't followed before and it was interesting to see how the Louvre staff took care of priceless artwork. -I like how the author ended one POV with an idea and began the next POV with the same idea. It was a great way to link these three experiences together and I wish it had been consistent throughout the book. - It was intriguing to learn about the subject of the Mona Lisa, Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo. What I didn't like: -This book started out great but really lagged in the middle. I understand it was setting the scene and the history in Italy, but it didn't add to the story. -I feel like the POVs of Leonardo and Bellina could have been combined. Only one perspective from that time frame was needed, and Bellina's didn't bring much new information. Her details could have been added to Leonardo's story. -I was underwhelmed with the ending. Everything just suddenly went back to normal but was very lackluster. I feel there were missed opportunities. 3.5 Stars

  8. 4 out of 5

    Eliza Knight

    A fascinating glimpse into the history and mystery behind the woman painted in the most iconic portrait to date—Mona Lisa—and the harrowing lengths of which the staff of the Louvre went to keep it out of Nazi hands during WWII. This was a powerful and poignant ode to a classic work that might have disappeared from the world altogether, and the life of a woman who had no idea today we’d still be admiring her face.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sydney Young

    I’m loving these dual timeline books set during both WWII and the Renaissance. This one is a page turning story about the Mona Lisa, both in creation and during Da Vinci’s life, and also the lengths the French went to in order to safeguard her during WWII. It’s also a story of people, the creator, the woman and her servant, and a museum assistant. Very enjoyable.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michelle E

    This was my first book from Laura Morelli. With that said, I must say I loved her writing style. While I have never been abroad, Ms. Morelli made me feel as if I was in each and every place with her illustrative words. The smells, the textures, the weather, all made this for an immersive experience for the reader. In addition, creating a story line across multiple timelines can, at times, present a challenge to some writers. Ms. Morelli made each transition seamless and I was not left wondering w This was my first book from Laura Morelli. With that said, I must say I loved her writing style. While I have never been abroad, Ms. Morelli made me feel as if I was in each and every place with her illustrative words. The smells, the textures, the weather, all made this for an immersive experience for the reader. In addition, creating a story line across multiple timelines can, at times, present a challenge to some writers. Ms. Morelli made each transition seamless and I was not left wondering where I was or which character I was associating with. Her characters are completely relatable and the reader understands the social statuses and corresponding duties and obligations even if you have never read any other material for the era. I recently began reading historical genres and The Stolen Lady was just what I needed to add to my collection. It encompasses so many aspects of a great read...I don't want to give anything away! If you love WWII era fiction and appreciate art, you will absolutely love The Stolen Lady by Laura Morelli. I would also like to Thank Goodreads and William Morrow Publishing Company for an advance print copy of The Stolen Lady by Laura Morelli. All comments and opinion are my own.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jean Jensen Rowley

    Leonardo da Vinci is one of my personal heroes, and I was thrilled to receive an advance copy of the book to read. I enjoyed the alternating storylines. The author did a great job of putting me in the story of hiding the Louvre art when the Germans were on the way to occupy France. As an American, I'm familiar with the WWII history from that point of view. Six of my uncles served in WWII. One didn't come back, and 2 were POW's in Europe. I enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about WWII history Leonardo da Vinci is one of my personal heroes, and I was thrilled to receive an advance copy of the book to read. I enjoyed the alternating storylines. The author did a great job of putting me in the story of hiding the Louvre art when the Germans were on the way to occupy France. As an American, I'm familiar with the WWII history from that point of view. Six of my uncles served in WWII. One didn't come back, and 2 were POW's in Europe. I enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about WWII history from a European point of view. It was a good read, and I recommend it. I also liked the storytelling about Leonardo's scientific achievements as well as the artistic ones we are all familiar with. He was such an impressive man.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I received this as an advanced reader's edition from the publisher. This was such a masterpiece of a book. Dual timelines, from multiple point of views. I just finished writing a long & detailed review and than it "had trouble saving my draft." So now it will be brief: This was such a joy to read. It was clearly well researched, I was constantly googling names, dates & places. As with all good books I am inspired to read & learn more on the subjects. I in general was inspired by the book. The mes I received this as an advanced reader's edition from the publisher. This was such a masterpiece of a book. Dual timelines, from multiple point of views. I just finished writing a long & detailed review and than it "had trouble saving my draft." So now it will be brief: This was such a joy to read. It was clearly well researched, I was constantly googling names, dates & places. As with all good books I am inspired to read & learn more on the subjects. I in general was inspired by the book. The message that we all can do something bigger than ourselves is especially important in these times.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lauren (thebookscript)

    The Stolen Lady is about the appreciation of art and those who sacrificed to preserve it . Informative and well researched, Morelli takes us on a historic adventure though the fifteenth century. In a time where the Mona Lisa and The David were created just few short miles away from each other. A time of political upheaval, religious fanaticism, Leonardo Divinci and the woman with a smile thats been frozen in time on canvas. This is a triple POV story: Leonardo Divinci, Bellina (a house servant i The Stolen Lady is about the appreciation of art and those who sacrificed to preserve it . Informative and well researched, Morelli takes us on a historic adventure though the fifteenth century. In a time where the Mona Lisa and The David were created just few short miles away from each other. A time of political upheaval, religious fanaticism, Leonardo Divinci and the woman with a smile thats been frozen in time on canvas. This is a triple POV story: Leonardo Divinci, Bellina (a house servant in Lisa's household) and Anne (1940's Louvre worker who drives the trucks and risks her safety to preserve the art for generations to come.) I enjoyed learning more about Lisa and Leonardo and the hardships others went through to preserve these miraculous works of art from hundreds of years ago. I didn't get emotionally invested as much as I would have liked to in the characters and thought the small romance plot lines were unnecessary (and this is coming from someone who loves a good romance plot line) Overall though if you are interested in art and history and the people who lived it. I can highly recommend this one. Its larger but overall seemed to be a quick read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    May

    For all that I thought I knew, Laura Morelli has woven fine details into both threads of this novel. The politics, the culture, the religious morays of each period enrich the telling Leonardo’s creative endeavors and Anne’s protective efforts of his Mona Lisa. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn Baron

    I learned a lot about the fate of the Mona Lisa that I didn’t know and more about Florentine and Italian history, the French partisans or maquisards, and much more. And we get to hear from Leonardo da Vinci himself. I found out what put the enigmatic smile on Mona Lisa’s face and why the famous painting by the legendary Italian artist wound up hanging on the wall of the private bath chamber of the King of France before ultimately ending up in the Louvre. The Stolen Lady was a real page-turner an I learned a lot about the fate of the Mona Lisa that I didn’t know and more about Florentine and Italian history, the French partisans or maquisards, and much more. And we get to hear from Leonardo da Vinci himself. I found out what put the enigmatic smile on Mona Lisa’s face and why the famous painting by the legendary Italian artist wound up hanging on the wall of the private bath chamber of the King of France before ultimately ending up in the Louvre. The Stolen Lady was a real page-turner and the characters brought history alive for me. I’ve also read another book by Laura Morelli, and now, after my second, I look forward to all her upcoming books. All in all, this novel was “Perfetto.”

  16. 5 out of 5

    Regan

    DNF for me. It was a slow, kind of young adult read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kim McGee

    Dual timelines - one in Florence where Leonardo DaVinci will begin his masterpiece of a noblewoman and the second is in the beginning of the war and how officials at the Louvre worked to quickly move most of its priceless treasures to hidden locations away from the Nazi invasion. Anne is working as a typist but is asked to accompany museum officials as they catalogue and move countless treasures including the staff favorite - the Mona Lisa. Anne quickly becomes much more to the group and will do Dual timelines - one in Florence where Leonardo DaVinci will begin his masterpiece of a noblewoman and the second is in the beginning of the war and how officials at the Louvre worked to quickly move most of its priceless treasures to hidden locations away from the Nazi invasion. Anne is working as a typist but is asked to accompany museum officials as they catalogue and move countless treasures including the staff favorite - the Mona Lisa. Anne quickly becomes much more to the group and will do anything it takes to keep this painting and others out of Nazi hands putting herself in great danger. Bettina is Lisa's maid who has been with her since birth and will do anything to protect her and her half finished portrait from harm. The last narrative is from Master DaVinci himself where we get a glimpse of his triumphs, failures and attempts at dodging unfinished commissions and political havoc. Historically accurate and informative as well as entertaining, this story will appeal to art lovers and WWII readers alike. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Megan Clemons {kymamareads}

    *Thank you so much to the publishers for sending me an arc of this book in exchange for my honest review* The Stolen Lady by Laura Morelli Pub Date: 9/21/21 France, 1939 At the dawn of World War II, Anne Guichard, a young archivist employed at the Louvre, arrives home to find her brother missing. While she works to discover his whereabouts, refugees begin flooding into Paris and German artillery fire rattles the city. Once they reach the city, the Nazis will stop at nothing to get their hands on th *Thank you so much to the publishers for sending me an arc of this book in exchange for my honest review* The Stolen Lady by Laura Morelli Pub Date: 9/21/21 France, 1939 At the dawn of World War II, Anne Guichard, a young archivist employed at the Louvre, arrives home to find her brother missing. While she works to discover his whereabouts, refugees begin flooding into Paris and German artillery fire rattles the city. Once they reach the city, the Nazis will stop at nothing to get their hands on the Louvre’s art collection. Anne is quickly sent to the Castle of Chambord, where the Louvre’s most precious artworks - including the Mona Lisa - are being transferred to ensure their safety. With the Germans hard on their heels, Anne frantically moves the Mona Lisa and other treasures again and again in an elaborate game of hide and seek. As the threat to the masterpieces and her life grows closer, Anne also begins to learn the truth about her brother and the role he plays in this dangerous game. Florence, 1479 House servant Bellina Sardi’s future seems fixed when she accompanies her newly married mistress, Lisa Gherardini, to her home across the Arno. Lisa’s husband, a prosperous silk merchant, is aligned with the powerful Medici, his home filled with luxuries and treasures. But soon, Bellina finds herself bewitched by a charismatic monk who has urged Florentines to rise up against the Medici and to empty their homes of the riches and jewels her new employer prizes. When Master Leonardo da Vinci is commissioned to paint a portrait of Lisa, Bellina finds herself tasked with hiding an impossible secret. When art and war collide, Leonardo da Vinci, his beautiful subject Lisa, and the portrait find themselves in the cross hairs of history. I am a huge fan in dual timelines especially in my historical fiction. The shift back and forth between the centuries was captivating. I thoroughly enjoyed the tidbits of real life events woven into this beautiful story.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Great story about the Mona Lisa and Leonardo Da Vinci. Here are some highlights: Story is told from THREE points of View: 1. Anne - an archivist typist during WWII, who is involved in keeping the Louvre paintings safe, specifically the Mona Lisa. 2. Bellina - a servant to Lisa Gherardini, the woman who posed for Leonardo's painting. 3. Leonardo DaVinci - the master painter! I loved the POV of DaVinci. Knowing now how famous he is and reading how he struggled to eat, or get commissions, it was he Great story about the Mona Lisa and Leonardo Da Vinci. Here are some highlights: Story is told from THREE points of View: 1. Anne - an archivist typist during WWII, who is involved in keeping the Louvre paintings safe, specifically the Mona Lisa. 2. Bellina - a servant to Lisa Gherardini, the woman who posed for Leonardo's painting. 3. Leonardo DaVinci - the master painter! I loved the POV of DaVinci. Knowing now how famous he is and reading how he struggled to eat, or get commissions, it was heartbreaking. I was fascinated by the things DaVinci wanted to do, like engineering, war machines, and anything but painting!! Yet, his Last Supper and Mona Lisa define his legacy. (of course finding his drawings and other inventions he sketched show what a genius he was). I loved how this story took place in "present day" 1930s/40s. I read a lot about how Hilter stole a lot of artwork but I didn't know the actual extent the Louvre took to hide art from the Germans. I ended up doing a lot more research and find the author really did a great job with story. I didn't like how Anne's story ended... but it wasn't that bad. You will see what I mean when you read it. I felt there was a rush in the last few chapters.. trying to close the story out .. and skipping time.. one minute they are in the war and next it's over. I also was confused with the title of the book.. The Stolen Lady.. I assumed in the story there would be some theft.. but there was only 'saving' and 'hiding' the Lady. I will definitely read more from this author. I like the amount of research she puts into the story to make it close to real life. Great recommendation.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Patton

    The Stolen Lady is an in-depth look at the creation of the Mona Lisa and then the effort to hide her and other priceless art during World War II. Told in multiple POV and timelines, you are introduced to Leonardo and Bellina (Lisa’s servant) in the late 1400s early 1500s, and to Anne, a Louvre employee in the 1940s. What I liked: What struck me was how often the Mona Lisa was in jeopardy - Leonardo didn’t want to finish the painting, while in Bellina’s possession it was almost destroyed in a fir The Stolen Lady is an in-depth look at the creation of the Mona Lisa and then the effort to hide her and other priceless art during World War II. Told in multiple POV and timelines, you are introduced to Leonardo and Bellina (Lisa’s servant) in the late 1400s early 1500s, and to Anne, a Louvre employee in the 1940s. What I liked: What struck me was how often the Mona Lisa was in jeopardy - Leonardo didn’t want to finish the painting, while in Bellina’s possession it was almost destroyed in a fire, it traveled by mule from Florence to Milan to France, and that’s not mentioning what could have happened if the Nazi’s had found it. I found the history of it and the background on Leonardo interesting. What didn’t work for me: It felt a little dry at times which I think could turnoff readers who don’t love historical fiction. I finished the book wanting more for Anne and was slightly disappointed with some of her storyline. Who should read it: This is a new side of WW2 fiction for me, the war is the backdrop and catalyst for Anne’s interaction with the painting but overall the book doesn’t feel as sad as most WW2 books and the topic was different. I will say this is pure historical - there’s a hint of romance - but the main action is the life of the painting and world events going on around it. Out now! Thank you partner @bibliolifestyle @williammorrowbooks

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    What an interesting read! I find it hard to enjoy WWII historical fiction because it’s been done so much but I loved the focus of the art being moved from the Louvre to protect it. It wasn’t something I knew much about so getting some form of history from it was wonderful. I’ve been to the Louvre and seeing the Mona Lisa in person made the connection to the love of that museum and it’s art all the more real! I loved the split timeline and follow Da Vinci through his creation process of the Mon L What an interesting read! I find it hard to enjoy WWII historical fiction because it’s been done so much but I loved the focus of the art being moved from the Louvre to protect it. It wasn’t something I knew much about so getting some form of history from it was wonderful. I’ve been to the Louvre and seeing the Mona Lisa in person made the connection to the love of that museum and it’s art all the more real! I loved the split timeline and follow Da Vinci through his creation process of the Mon Lisa. I would love to talk to the author about where those ideas came from, especially Bellina’s perspective. Was it based in fact? This book really transports you to two very different times in history and the characters are so different each of their stories being something different to the whole book. Thank you NetGalley and William Marrow and Custom House for the ARC!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Yee Swope

    "Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa, men have named you" -Nat King Cole I am many things, but no one has ever called me an art connoisseur. But a great many people know me to deeply geek out on all things Biltmore, and back in WWII here in the States, Biltmore's then-unfinished, now-music room was outfitted with a steel door and bars on the windows to house art valuables from the National Gallery of Art. And next year, I am looking forward to the DaVinci immersive art exhibit coming to Biltmore (after Van Gogh "Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa, men have named you" -Nat King Cole I am many things, but no one has ever called me an art connoisseur. But a great many people know me to deeply geek out on all things Biltmore, and back in WWII here in the States, Biltmore's then-unfinished, now-music room was outfitted with a steel door and bars on the windows to house art valuables from the National Gallery of Art. And next year, I am looking forward to the DaVinci immersive art exhibit coming to Biltmore (after Van Gogh & Monet) and I can't wait to see some of the inventions parts of the exhibit as well as the artwork parts. For years I have greeted helicopters flying above with a cheery "Hello, Leonardo!" So to read in dual timeframe both stories of creating the Mona Lisa and of keeping her away from the Nazis grabbed me, and the strong women, Anne and Bellina, tasked with caring for the painting (Anne) and for Lisa del Giocondo (Bellina was her Lady's maid) captivated me. Art people will love it, historical fiction readers will love it, and so will people interested in upstairs-downstairs class relations, the Resistance in WWII, and rivalries (we forget how controversial Michaelangelo's David was).

  23. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    A story told from two different eras, 1940s France and 1500s Italy. It was an interesting behind-the-scenes look at Leonardo daVinci’s Mona Lisa. In the 1500s you are taken through the subject Lisa and her house servant Bellina’s lives together, then the creation of the famous painting, and subsequently the movement of it through Italy and on to France. In the 1940s, the reader follows a museum archivist Anne and her journey to move the painting in an effort to keep it out of the hands of the Na A story told from two different eras, 1940s France and 1500s Italy. It was an interesting behind-the-scenes look at Leonardo daVinci’s Mona Lisa. In the 1500s you are taken through the subject Lisa and her house servant Bellina’s lives together, then the creation of the famous painting, and subsequently the movement of it through Italy and on to France. In the 1940s, the reader follows a museum archivist Anne and her journey to move the painting in an effort to keep it out of the hands of the Nazis. There are many rich and enlightening characters along the way to entertain you. Not your common WWII historical fiction and therefore I would definitely recommend it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Jaeger

    Shifting back and forth in time between Leonardo Da Vinci's Florence and WWII France, Morelli's beautifully rendered novel explores the importance of art, its enduring value, and the bravery of the human spirit. An engrossing narrative rich in vivid detail, The Stolen Lady transported me from the banks of the River Arno to the chateaus, castles and abbeys of the French countryside, spanning political unrest in early 1500s Italy to the devastation of WWII. Morelli's vision of the Mona Lisa, and t Shifting back and forth in time between Leonardo Da Vinci's Florence and WWII France, Morelli's beautifully rendered novel explores the importance of art, its enduring value, and the bravery of the human spirit. An engrossing narrative rich in vivid detail, The Stolen Lady transported me from the banks of the River Arno to the chateaus, castles and abbeys of the French countryside, spanning political unrest in early 1500s Italy to the devastation of WWII. Morelli's vision of the Mona Lisa, and the woman behind the painting, will stay with me for a long time.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    4.5 stars - This was such a fascinating, well-written book. It has two timelines sharing the story of Lisa and how she became the subject of the world's most famous painting, and then the amazing story of the courageous employees of the Louvre who saved the museum's collection during WW2. While fictionalized, the stories are both based on true accounts - so be sure to read the notes at the end! This is the second book of hers I've read and I've really enjoyed them both. The author is an art hist 4.5 stars - This was such a fascinating, well-written book. It has two timelines sharing the story of Lisa and how she became the subject of the world's most famous painting, and then the amazing story of the courageous employees of the Louvre who saved the museum's collection during WW2. While fictionalized, the stories are both based on true accounts - so be sure to read the notes at the end! This is the second book of hers I've read and I've really enjoyed them both. The author is an art historian and her books make me appreciate art in a whole new way.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    Impressive storytelling backed by solid research. This entwined presentation involves a Louvre employee during the occupation of France tasked as a member of a team to thwart the German accession of fine art, a woman who becomes a servant to a wealthy family at a young age in the time of the famous Leonardo painting, and Leonardo himself. The story is actually riveting as I wanted to find out multiple things about each of the protagonists. No spoilers here, just READ IT! I requested and received Impressive storytelling backed by solid research. This entwined presentation involves a Louvre employee during the occupation of France tasked as a member of a team to thwart the German accession of fine art, a woman who becomes a servant to a wealthy family at a young age in the time of the famous Leonardo painting, and Leonardo himself. The story is actually riveting as I wanted to find out multiple things about each of the protagonists. No spoilers here, just READ IT! I requested and received a free temporary ebook copy from William Morrow and Custom House via NetGalley. Thank you!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sharlene

    This is such a fascinating book. I think everyone is always in awe of anything pertaining to the Mona Lisa. Even though I was aware of the painting being moved during WWII, I knew nothing about the details of that or the fascinating story of how the painting came to be and who Mona Lisa was. I highly recommend this book for historical fiction readers and art history readers too or anyone that enjoys well written historical fiction.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    All in all a good and interesting story but the ending left me wanting...it felt unfinished. Sequel maybe?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    What an enjoyable art thriller! The author obviously did a great deal of research of both time periods - Italy from 1472 to 1520, and also France during WWII. I especially loved reading about the efforts by the Louvre staff to protect their artwork and keep it from falling into Nazi possession. Loved it!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Lawrence

    The back story of how a commissioned painting and run-of-the-mill job became a world treasure. Mona is a title, not a name, making the Mona Lisa feel even closer to me.

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