David

Article excerpt

David

Mary Hoffman

Bloomsbury

ISBN 9781408800522

Paperback 10.99 [pounds sterling]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

As memories of the summer holiday fade away as rapidly as the tan on your legs, be warned that reading Mary Hoffman's David might not be the most sensible thing to do. Not of you're a teacher and your bank account is already wincing in preparation for Christmas. Every page of this book smells of Italy. You will be hopelessly lost in dreams of warmer days and bluer skies. You will find yourself lingering outside travel agents, calculating how much it would cost to get you to Florence; because you will have to go there. You will have to see Michelangelo's David, in the flesh, as it were. That's what will happen to you, if you are foolhardy enough to open the pages of this novel.

Nobody knows who the real model was for Michelangelo when he carved his incredible statue. Mary Hoffman has decided to fill us in on the true story. She describes how 18-year-old Gabriele, a stonecutter, sets off from his home town in Settignano, to come to Florence and make his fortune. He has a plan. The famous sculptor Michelangelo is his 'milk brother'. He will call on him, renew their friendly acquaintance, and take things from there. …