I thoroughly enjoyed this enchanting book.
Such a refreshing change from the diet of crime fiction books I’ve been reading lately.
Bloody fantastic in fact! (Sometimes a superlative isn’t enough)
The fiction taken from fact in this historical drama taught me a lot about art history in the 18th Century plus the history of the silk industry during that time. All included in the story in a relevant and fascinating way so that the reader absorbs the facts rather than have them presented in a dry way.
The narrative moves seamlessly between two time periods, the present day where Milly, one of the protagonists, is embroiled in a difficult relationship with a married man and back to the 1700’s where a young girl Anastasia is trying to escape from the clutches of a violent controlling mill owner father in Italy.
Milly visits Italy to research the newly resurgent silk industry in there for a magazine article and meets the handsome Lorenzo, part owner of an old mill, now used as a B&B. There’s a mysterious painting of a young woman.
Milly’s time in Italy researching the facts for her article and trying to find out more about the painting results in her finding an historical tie-in to Lorenzo and events in Anastasia’s life and to the woman herself.
I wasn’t overly fond of the Milly character and wanted to give her a good shake at times, but l can understand why she was relevant to the story and the part she played.
Full of tension, mystery, danger and heartache. I quickly turned the pages to find out what happened to Anastasia and really invested in her character.
The story moves all over Europe between Venice, Verona, Lake Garda, France, Amsterdam and Spitalfields London.
There is a helpful glossary at the back giving the reader information on who was a real historical character and who wasn’t. The real artist Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717) appears in the book and sounds so fascinating I must read more about her.
Now I want to read all Debbie Rix books!
Thanks to the publisher Bookouture for my ARC copy via NetGalley that I chose to review
To Purchase on Amazon UK
About The Author