I am still not done with reading, but the only reason why I'm drawing it out this long, is because I don't want to say goodbye to the characters I've come across and taken a liking to. Cheesy, I know, but I can't help it! There are a lot of good books out there that I have loved quite a it, but there are few I have a hard time parting with like this.
There has only been one other book I've felt this way about, and that was The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons (NO, it is not the poem by Pushkin!). Though I'd classify it as a romance novel, it is beyond that, because it is historical, as well. It is set during World War II, during the German invasion and blockade of Russia, Leningrad to be exact. Much like The Birth of Venus, I was unable to put it down and read it in less than a week despite it's 600+pages and my busy work schedule. Even though I drew it out as long as I could, I still couldn't put it down and it ended way too soon for me.
I guess I highly recommend both books, though I will admit that The Bronze Horseman is a little more romance novellish than The Birth of Venus, but they are both rich stories with even richer characters and history that is practically impossible to get bored with.