The Girl with the Painted Face
Set in 1582 in Italy, The Girl with the Painted Face tells the story of the young seamstress, Sofia Genotti – a vulnerable, sensitive and heart-warming heroine who must go on the run after being falsely accused of theft. Sofia joins a troupe of travelling actors as their costume mistress, but is soon appearing on the stage as a budding actress. When she falls in love with fellow actor, Beppe, life seems finally to be treating her well, until Sofia is wrongly accused of murder and forced, once more, to run away.
Through her scrupulous research and vivid descriptions, the author has woven an historical tale that is both entertaining and educational. Sixteenth-century Italy and the world of the Commedia dell’Arte are vividly brought to life; the reader is almost able to see and smell the countryside, the crowded taverns, the lively marketplaces, and the colourful characters, some of whom have very dark and dangerous sides.
I found The Girl with the Painted Face a nice, simple read, a cosy mystery with no great surprises or plot twists and turns. I would recommend this as an easy read for historical fiction lovers who enjoy tales of adventure, romance and a whodunnit in the storyline.