Mona Lisa by Dianne Hales. Published by Simon & Schuster

She has been gazed at by kings, presidents, artists, poets and writers. She has been the topic of stories, songs and ballads, but does anyone know the woman behind the smile? Dianne Hales explores the life of Lisa Gheradina, believed by scholars to have been the model for the world’s most famous painting. Wanting more than just stale facts, she traveled to Florence to learn about the life of the real woman. By walking the same streets, visiting the same churches and tracking down her descendants, Hales presents Mona Lisa as a living breathing woman, one who lived during one of the most exciting periods of history. Part travelogue, part narrative, part detective story, this is a book that will hold readers rapt.

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