Daughter of Venice by Donna Jo Napoli
Sisters of Glass by Stephanie Hemphill
Daughter of Venice: Donata comes from a wealthy noble family in Venice in 1592 and at age fourteen she yearns to know how the outside world lives. Donata’s life has been planned by her family, but she is determined not to follow those plans.
Sisters of Glass: Maria lives on the tiny island of Murano in fifteenth-century Italy. Her family also have plans for her life, but she does not agree with them.
Donata: Donata was the envy of other young girls because of her family’s wealth. She does not agree, as a privileged young woman she has no freedom. She disguises herself as a poor boy and escapes her family’s palazzo (palace). She meets a young Jewish man named Noe and her way of life is changed forever.
Maria: Maria is fifteen years old and comes from a family of glassmakers. As Maria’s family hunts for a proper suitor for her to marry, she has secretly grown close to Luca, the young glassblower employed by her family. Maria’s life is changed forever.
Both novels tell the story of an old, Italian society with set rules and two girls challenging those rules. If you like historical fiction you will enjoy both novels as I did.