The year is 1570, and in the convent of Santa Caterina, in the Italian city of Ferrara, noblewomen find space to pursue their lives under God's protection. But any community, however smoothly run, suffers tremors when it takes in someone by force. And the arrival of Santa Caterina's new novice sets in motion a chain of events that will shake the convent to its core.
"Don't expect Ken Follett"
Alessandra Cecchi is not quite fifteen when her father, a prosperous cloth merchant, brings a young painter back from northern Europe to decorate the chapel walls in the family's Florentine palazzo. A child of the Renaissance, with a precocious mind and a talent for drawing, Alessandra is intoxicated by the painter's abilities.
Escaping the sack of Rome in 1527, with their stomachs churning on the jewels they have swallowed, the courtesan Fiammetta and her dwarf companion, Bucino, head for Venice, the shimmering city born out of water to become a miracle of east-west trade: rich and rancid, pious and profitable, beautiful and squalid.
"Richard Grant should read more!"
By the end of the fifteenth century, the beauty and creativity of Italy is matched by its brutality and corruption, nowhere more than in Rome and inside the Church. When Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia buys his way into the papacy as Alexander VI, he is defined not just by his wealth or his passionate love for his illegitimate children, but by his blood: He is a Spanish Pope in a city run by Italians. If the Borgias are to triumph, this charismatic, consummate politician with a huge appetite for life, women, and power must use papacy and family—in particular, his eldest son, Cesare, and his daughter Lucrezia—in order to succeed.
"Start with Other Dunant Books"
"A Good Coimpanion for a Weekend"
"birth of new insight"
Italy, 1570. The convent of Santa Caterina is filled with noble women who are married to Christ because many cannot find husbands outside. Enter sixteen-year-old Serafina, removed by her family from an illicit love affair. While on one side of the walls, forces in the Church are pushing for change, inside, Serafina's spirit and defiance ignite a fire that threatens to engulf the whole convent.
"Good story, interesting world"
Alessandra is not quite fifteen when her prosperous merchant father brings a young painter back with him from Holland to adorn the walls of the new family chapel. She is fascinated by his talents and envious of his abilities and opportunities to paint to the glory of God. Soon her love of art and her lively independence are luring her into closer involvement with all sorts of taboo areas of life.
"Incoherent abridgement - ludicrious references"
Rodrigo Borgia picks up his papal skirts and walks out on to the public balcony.Sixty-one years old. How many years does he have in front of him? By his age, four of the five popes he had served were already rotting in their tombs. Sixty-one. Three sons, a ripening daughter and a sublime young mistress, ready to drop more fruit.Borgia blood. Thick with ambition and determination. How long does he need? Give him another ten - no, fifteen - summers and he will have the bull crest emblazoned over half of Italy.
The year is 1527. While the Papal city of Rome burns, two of her most interesting and wily citizens slip away. Though almost as damaged as their beloved city, Fiammetta Bianchini and Bucino Teodoldi, a fabulous courtesan and her dwarf companion, are already planning their future. They head for the shimmering beauty of Venice, a honey pot of wealth and trade where they start to rebuild their business. As a partnership they are invincible. Venice, however, is a city that holds its own temptations.
Alessandra is not quite fifteen when her prosperous father brings a young painter back from Holland to adorn the new family chapel. Fascinated by his ability she is lured into closer involvement. On the streets of Florence she observes a terrible evil stalking the city and a fiery priest, who has set out to rid the city of vice, even art itself.
1527. While the Papal city of Rome burns, brutally sacked by an invading army including Protestant heretics, two of her most interesting and wily citizens slip away, their stomachs churning on the jewels they have swallowed as the enemy breaks down their doors.