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Publisher's Summary

Waking Isabella is a story about uncovering hidden beauty that, over time, has been lost, erased, or suppressed. It also weaves together several love stories as well as a few mysteries.

Nora, an assistant researcher, is a catalyst for resolving the puzzle of a painting that has been missing for decades. Set in Arezzo, a small Tuscan town, the plot unfolds against the backdrop of the city’s antique trade and the fanfare and pageantry of its medieval jousting festival.

While filming a documentary about Isabella de’ Medici - the Renaissance princess who was murdered by her husband - Nora begins to connect with the lives of two remarkable women from the past. Unraveling the stories of Isabella, the daughter of a 15th-century Tuscan duke, and Margherita, a young girl trying to survive the war in Nazi-occupied Italy, Nora begins to question the choices that have shaped her own life up to this point. As she does, hidden beauty is awakened deep inside of her, and she discovers the keys to her creativity and happiness.

It is a story of love and deceit, forgeries and masterpieces - all held together by the allure and intrigue of a beautiful Tuscan ghost.

©2017 Melissa Muldoon (P)2020 Melissa Muldoon

What listeners say about Waking Isabella: Because Beauty Can’t Sleep Forever

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A web of intrigue, history and soul searching

From the coast of California to the charm of Tuscany, Waking Isabella whisks readers into a web of intrigue, history and soul searching in a stunning setting. Nora is in a personal and professional crisis as her marriage ends and her career is at crossroads. So when an old friend pops up on social media, Nora takes a leap of faith and puts in motion a journey that ultimately connects her with a Medici princess. In a mix of old and new, past and present, Waking Isabella keeps a quick pace as it weaves together the history of the murder of a Isabella and the present day story of a modern woman searching for who she is and how she wants to spend her life. The story is layered with rich details about Renaissance Italy and gorgeous descriptions of the paintings, jewelry and traditions that capture the opulence of the time. While the contemporary scenes relay the pace, flavors and lifestyle of today's Italian villages. I enjoyed learning about this little-known piece of history and experiencing the dramatic story of Isabella through the eyes of a rebellious young woman. I also appreciated that the story was appropriately complex without easy answers to Nora's big questions. If you're lucky enough to find yourself in Tuscany in the near future, this is a great book to bring along.

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Waking Isabella

I have read and enjoyed books by Melissa Muldoon. So, it was exciting to have the opportunity to read Waking Isabella. It was no disappointment. This one is probably my favorite to date. It was great how the author was able intertwine the fifteenth, twentieth, and twenty first centuries. Even though there are a variety of characters in the book, I thought it was easy to keep up with them all. I loved being whisked away to the beautiful setting of Arezzo, a little Tuscan town. Nora’s story was so very good. It was intriguing how the ghosts of the past showed her their lives. The mysteries surrounding Isabella de’ Medici and Margherita had me hooked from start to finish. It was beautiful watching Nora’s character grow throughout and there are so many lessons to learn for us all within the pages.

I had the pleasure of listening to the audio version of Waking Isabella. The narration was done by the talented Amy Gordon. She did a great job of bringing this story to life. Her performance was perfect and helped kept my attention throughout the book.

Waking Isabella is getting a very well deserved five plus stars from me. I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy reading time slips novels. I will definitely be looking for more by Melissa Muldoon in the future. She has earned herself a new fan.

I received Waking Isabella from the publisher. This review is one hundred percent my own honest opinion.