Member Blogs > Journey of a BooksellerPortrait of a Conspiracy by Donna Russo Morin

  • Tue, 10 May 2016 09:00:00    Permalink
    In 15th century Florence, women's lives were defined by their husbands.  That didn't mean women liked it or that they didn't know what was going on.  They had their own little activities where they met and chatted.  Who would have thought that painting was something a woman could be punished for?

    Diversion Books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It is being published today, so you can grab a copy now.

    I wasn't sure if I would like this book.  Historical fiction about a conspiracy didn't really grab my attention.  However, the thought of a group of women painting in secret got me.  If they did that, what other things did they do that might affect their lives?

    This author uses her words to draw you into the story.  You see secrets, murders, philandering and more in this book.  One woman's husband likes to rape her and leave her covered with bruises.  One young woman sneaks out and meets her lover in quiet places.  One woman goes missing after the attack and murder of a member of the Medici family in a church and a painting goes with her.  The living brother declares war on the Pazzi family and begins killing them and anyone they think might have been a supporter of theirs.  This is not a pleasant time to be alive.

    I was amazed what the women did (with some help from Leonardo Da Vinci) and how the wife got back at her husband.  This is not a tale about wallflowers.  It's a tale about strong women who will do what they must to protect those they love.  I found the women's story even more important than the conspiracy.  This book touched me and I didn't expect that.  Read it and you'll see why.

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