All Columns in Alphabetical Order

Sunday, June 23, 2013

READ THIS: The Dead Florentines by Andrew Serra Our Coverage Sponsored by Dee Keller Designs

Dee Keller Designs is an Italian Shoe Line designed by the one and only - Dee Keller. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. This is certainly true for the Dee Keller collection. Her styles are fresh, relevant, will stand the test of time and feature sleek designs that are crafted from the finest materials. But, what makes Dee Keller collections so unique is the delightful attention to detail found in each and every piece. Dee Keller is a designer with an exceptionally refined sensibility and marked by their optimism, joie de vivre and beauty, her designs will add a spark to any wardrobe. The Spring 2012 Dee Keller collection cleverly combines an optimistic and energetic outlook with a worldly sensibility. Unique fabrications are evident throughout the line and the collection is as versatile as it is stylish. Whether in sporty moccasins, playful wedges or elegantly modern heels, in a Dee Keller design, you will never go unnoticed. Whom You Know has Highly Recommended Dee Keller:
“One shoe can change your life.” ~Cinderella 
“Imagine what two shoes can do!” ~Dee Keller

Having visited Italy and Florence a year ago, my heart was longing for a return trip.  Unfortunately, my wallet won't allow it. Instead, I have the next best thing. The Dead Florentines, by Andrew Serra transported me straight back to Florence. Only this time was a bit more mysterious and exciting! Instead of visiting present day Florence, this book gave me the opportunity to experience Florence in the early 16th Century. Mr. Serra uses incredibly vivid descriptions to tell the thrilling tale of a young man's journey through hell and back. This book kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time. It is a thoroughly enjoyable story, and it will have you hooked until the very end!

Andrew Serra's debut book, "The Dead Florentines," is an intuitive look into what Renaissance Florence was like. In rich detail, Andrew describes the exciting historical figures and daily buzz of sixteenth-century Florence. The author really develops his characters well in this novel, with full arrays of emotions. He creates characters that we as readers love and others that we despise. The book gave me great insight into the streets and sights of Florence. I got extremely into this book and could not put it down. My husband even asked to read it when I was done because of how much I would talk about it. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the betrayal of 16th century Italy and wants to read an incredibly exhilarating page-turner. 

Flex those Latin muscles, all you parochial school alumni. The Dead Florentines will re-activate those brain cells, and brush up your history all at the same time. Set in 16th Century Italy amid the hierarchy of the Guilds, Andrew Serra forges his tale of a young apprentice adrift. Within the brutal history of a papacy lies the thread that wove the Italian Renaissance. The Guilds, with a capital "G", were the controlling factor alongside the Church. Then, as all throughout history, not all men were good. The subterfuges, the sub-plotting, the betrayals surround everyday life in Florence, home of young Lorenzo. He builds his hopes and dreams as Italy builds her artistic heritage, and a cultural future for all of use to celebrate. Colorful in his descriptions, with an eye that lingers over detail, Mr. Serra uses his Italian background to stretch the boundaries of an historical novel just a bit. Latin and Italian dialogue and phrases dot the text, and enrich the storyline. The Dead Florentines becomes a breathing account of a young man in his formative years and beyond. The smells of Florence will seem to fill the air. The scent of another time and place will set your imagination walking through these pages. And it won't be long after that you start thinking about a vacation in Italy. Mr. Serra's research is profound, and he lets us enjoy small moments, as well as the big picture. Definitely a poetic read, artistic, creative, and fascinating all at once. 

I love Italy. I love Italy to the point that it might be considered a bit obsessive! Coming from an Italian family, I've always been interested in the Italian culture. Traveling to Italy in 2001 only made me want to know more! Needless to say I was thrilled to read Andrew Serra's "The Dead Florentines". Mr. Serra holds a master's degree in Italian and has traveled throughout Italy. This book is absolutely wonderful! Mr. Serra transports the reader to 16th century Florence and before you know it, you are completely absorbed and can't put the book down! Telling the story of Lorenzo, we travel back in time and vividly experience life at the center of the Italian Renaissance. This is a fast-paced read that anyone is sure to enjoy! I will most definitely be recommending "The Dead Florentines" to my friends and family. This is a must read!


The Dead Florentines

Andrew Serra Brings the ‘Dead’ to Life in Debut Novel

Lulu Press releases The Dead Florentines, by Andrew Serra. From on-site research in Florence, Italy and graduate studies in Italian Literature, to nearly two decades working across the highly diverse neighborhoods of New York City, Serra draws from a rich mixture of experiences. His portrayal of Renaissance Florence is both vivid and identifiable to the modern reader.

"I am passionate about history and Italian culture,” says the author. “But I tried to write characters with challenges and struggles that are common to every era — to show the timelessness of human emotions."

The book is the first in a planned series of historical novels each to feature a different city and era—all with characters to whom twenty-first century readers can relate.

Andrew Serra has traveled throughout Italy and has a master’s degree in Italian from Hunter College. He has previously published an English/Italian poetry collection, The Battle for Our Souls (2009) and has been featured in GQ Italia. He lives with his wife and daughter in New York City, where he works as a firefighter.

Back to TOP