Fate is still at work, though. Renowned but dissolute painter Filippo Lippi has been given the job of chaplain at Santa Margherita by his patrons, the powerful Medicis. He is at a low point, lacking inspiration, when he suddenly meets Lucrezia and her beauty inspires both his painting and his heart. Lucrezia is drawn to him in return, though any relationship between a monk and a novice nun is of course completely forbidden.
Beauty can be a blessing and a curse, as Lucrezia discovers when the powerful Prior General begins to force himself upon her. In desperation, she uses the uproar on the day of The Feast of the Sacred Belt to escape the convent and hide in the house of a wealthy family. But she meets Lippi on the way and ends up taking refuge in his home, instead. When the worst happens anyway, Lippi is willing to give up everything to protect her and keep her from further harm.
Human nature never changes, that is what makes stories like this one resonate down through the years. Don't we always want most what we can't have? Centuries have gone by and this still remains true. And there will always be those who can't resist greed, self importance, power...the villains then are not so very different from the villains now. This is the aspect of historical fiction that I most enjoy, that a dusty old story that has had the personality and emotion eroded from it by time can be renewed and made relevant by the imagination of an author (or authors, in this case). Now I wish I'd paid more attention in the single art history class I took in college...I remember it being boring, boring, boring. Too bad the professor didn't have a little of the talent of these authors, if he had added the stories behind the paintings...well, who knows where I'd be now! If you enjoy historical fiction you'll definitely want to read The Miracles of Prato !
The Miracles of Prato is published by Harper Collins, ISBN 978-0-06-155835-1
I received this book as part of the TLC Book Tour. For a complete list of blogs on the tour, click here.
Up for grabs is my gently read trade paperback copy! If you would like to enter just leave me a comment here that includes your email address. You can enter until midnight eastern on August 25th and the giveaway is open to anyone with a US or Canada mailing address. Thank you for visiting and entering!!