The Medici Boy – A journey back in time to the Renaissance of 15th-century Florence, Italy where art, politics, and passion come together in a flurry of beauty sounded like the perfect read for a suddenly cooler and rainy day in South Florida.
I opened the book, turned to the first page and read the first line.
It is right and just to confess at the very start that it was fornication that took me out of the Order of Friars Minor and set me on the path of sin.
And right there I wondered if this was the book for me. After all, I wear fifty shades of grey but have never read the books and have zero desire to view the film. Was this one of those books? Would I have to hide it from prying eyes? The author, John L’Heureux is an acclaimed author with more than twenty published books, has been featured in dozens of anthologies and has appeared in periodicals from The New Yorker, Esquire, and Harpers – and the man has taught at Georgetown, Harvard and Stanford I kid you not. So I decided to set aside my slightly prudish attitude and ventured further into the book and found myself lost in the conflict, the jealousy and the swirling colors and intimate narrative of the master sculptor Donatello, and the creation of his famous bronze of David and Goliath.
The book has it all, love, desire, passion and ultimate sacrifice as one finds oneself deep in the intrigue of Donatello’s Bottega caught up in the life of Luca di Matteo, the unwanted son of a rich merchant and his Dalmatian slave girl. This story of love, genius, and betrayal is wrapped together with the absolute beauty of artistic detail, the oftentimes horrific witch hunt of gay men, and the competition of the powerbrokers of Renaissance Florence: the Medizzi and Albizzi families. This was a time where passions were closely monitored and closed doors closeted furtive lifestyles thro fear of exposure, which would surely result in death.
The book will keep you turning pages, the words are vivid and colorful, the heart and the longing shall surely keep you hoping to the very end.
Donatello: Art, Pain, Passion, Murder.