In lush, glowing prose, Louise Hawes’s historical novel draws readers into the life and art of sixteenth-century Bologna with a compelling account of Lavinia Fontana, arguably the most famous female painter of the Italian Renaissance. Here readers will find a coming-of-age story filled with quest, complication, and catastrophe as well as miracles and hope. Although the novel is set four hundred years ago, the hard choices it involves speak to all times, all places, and are sure to tap into readers’ own conflicts between head and heart, real life and dreams.
Louise Hawes is the author of many novels for young adults and is also a faculty member of the Spalding University MFA in Writing program. She has always loved fairy tales and says that Black Pearls was written for “everyone who dances without looking at the clock.” She lives in North Carolina.
Fans of historical fiction will lose themselves in Hawes' sumptuously evoked Renaissance Italy, and aspiring artists will respond to Vini's amazement at "how full of drawings the world is." —Booklist, ALA, Boxed Review
Hawes takes what is known of her (Lavinia Fontana, daughter of the painter Prospero Fontana) life and creates a fictionalized tale of a complicated adolescence. —Kirkus Reviews
This book is a good choice for middle school students and will appeal especially to girls who can relate to its strong, female protagonist. —VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)