Daughter of Venice Background

Daughter of Venice Background

Daughter of Venice is a novel written by Donna Jo Napoli in 2002 and is a story set in the 1500s. The story main revolves around Donata, who is the wealthy daughter of a Venetian noble but greatly resents her lack of freedom. Her sister help her to dress up as a poor boy and she uses this disguise to wander around the town. She befriends a boy called Noe and the two become close friends. Meanwhile, at home, Donata learns to read and write. Donata's father announces that he has found her a husband to marry but she does not want to as she wants to marry Noe. She avoids this by annoucing that she is converting to Judaism and thus escapes the potential marriage. Her parents discover that she has been leaving the house and wandering the town but they are supportive of her and tell her that she may attend university to study philosophy which she is greatly interested in.

The book was written by the author in order to display that women during the 1500s were not always given equal status as men but women fought for their rights and wanted to educate themselves. The author also wrote the book to show the social divide between the poor and the rich but also to illustrate that love can overcome this barrier.

The book has been received well by critics and readers. Kirkus Reviews described the novel as "Compelling historical fiction" and that readers "will...find themselves absorbed". The book was also nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award.

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