This book has been on my list of books to read for quite awhile. I just finished and am still trying to assimilate everything that it held in its pages. Its wonderfully written and transports you into Florence during the Reniassance. The Renissance paintings and sculptures are some of my favorites, and to be transported into that time is an amazing experience- especially when told by a young woman who desires more than her world can offer her as a woman. There is also a huge section on homosexuality that runs through the book. I'm amused that they are reffered to sodimites, and am amazed at how their role in modern life has changed. I'm torn between recommending it to a gay friend of mine, in an effort to protect him from the prosecution the "sodimites" have to endure, but the lure of the art in the story may overwhelm the bad.
And I have to say that I love the large snake tatoo on the nun. You learn of the tatoo in the prologue, and then the rest of the book is focused on who the nun is and how she aquired her tatoo. It's a wonderful piece of fiction- with some pieces loosely based on history. Go read it!!!