BOOK REVIEW: Three Fires by Denise Mina

Publication Date: August 1, 2023
Format: Kindle 
Genre:  Historical Fiction 

Publisher: Pegasus Crime
 141 Pages
Buy: Kindle | Hardcover


Girolamo Savonarola was a Dominican friar living in Florence at the end of the fifteenth century. An anti-corruption campaigner, his hellfire preaching increasingly spilled over into tirades against all luxuries that tempted his followers toward sin. These sermons led to the infamous "Bonfire of the Vanities”—a series of fires lit throughout Florence for the incineration of everything from books, extravagant clothing, playing cards, musical instruments, make-up, and mirrors to paintings, tapestries, and sculptures.

Railing against the vice and avarice of the ruling Medici family, he was instrumental in their removal from power—and for a short time became the puritanical leader of the city. After turning his attention to corruption within the Catholic Church, he was first excommunicated and then executed by a combination of hanging and being burned at the stake.


I wasn't sure about this book at first but it is so readable I couldn't put it down. Savonarola was a huge antisemite, against women and sodomy.  Sounds a lot like the rhetoric that is growing in the USA. Savonarola was increasingly calling for a move toward a strict and more religious way of life. He called for no birth control and said that it was Gods calling to have as many children as they could, until the woman died or was unable to have anymore. I see more and more of this type of movement invading the USA and it is wildly disturbing.  Even the people who stood by Savonarola the Proud Boys gave me chills. That Savonarola was stopped was the best part of the book.  People eventually were finally able to stop the hate which gives me hope. 

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