The Smile - Donna Jo Napoli I stole this one for the Bout of Books off my daughter’s shelf. She really is an avid reader, but if a book doesn’t get her attention by the end of the first chapter, the author has lost all hope of getting her to read any further. I am a much more patient reader. Not that this book required that, but I can see how many teens reading it would probably become disinterested for the same reason that the book captivated me.The Smile is a work of historical fiction and the premise is wonderful. Who hasn’t looked at Leonardo’s Mona Lisa and wondered what wonderful story is behind the mysterious painting? The tale that Napoli weaves is more than you could imagine. Elisabetta lives a sheltered life, but not pampered. She has spunk, she has wit, she is smart and she is strong. She also lives in a time when all of that means nothing if you are born a woman.The tragic love story gives you a perspective on this time period that draws you in and makes you feel compassion, not only for Elisabetta, but for all the characters who are a victim of time and circumstance. The Smile is a book that I am glad that I took the time to read. Historical fiction isn’t my normal genre, but it’s fun to go places that you don’t normally travel, especially with books.