The Miracles of Prato by Laurie Lico Albanese & Laura Morowitz

“Walk back in time to the Medici era, prose so good you can smell the stench of thy neighbor.”

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Title:The Miracles of Prato
Author:Morowitz, Laura,   Albanese, Laurie Lico
Publisher:Harper Collins
Pages:400

Goodreads: Italy, 1456. The Renaissance is in glorious bloom, an age of unbridled creativity, commerce, art, and innovation. One of the most colorful men of this astonishing time is Fra Filippo Lippi, equally revered as a painter and reviled as a rogue. A great artist, he serves Cosimo de’ Medici and the Catholic Church, creating masterpieces in celebration of God and His glory. A Carmelite monk, he acts as chaplain to the nuns of the Convent Santa Margherita—and it is here, behind the cloister walls, that he encounters the greatest temptation of his life.

Penniless and beautiful, young Lucrezia Buti has been driven to Santa Margherita more by poverty than piety. Mesmerized by Lucrezia’s flawless features, Lippi sees in her face the inspiration for countless Madonnas. With the help of his powerful friends and an unscrupulous prioress, he draws upon favors that will lead to dangerous consequences, and brings the young woman to his studio to serve as his model.

Painter and muse are soon united in an exhilarating whirl of artistic discovery. As weeks and months pass, a passionate love develops between the irascible artist and the young nun, resulting in a scandalous romance that threatens to destroy them even as it fuels some of Lippi’s greatest work. Their affair sparks anger, envy, and vengeance . . . and it will take a miracle of undying faith, unsurpassed beauty, and unfathomable love to save all that Lippi and Lucrezia cherish.

A gorgeous novel that brings together real and imagined characters from Italy’s rich history, The Miracles of Prato is a moving and unforgettable tale of desire and devotion, both sensual and spiritual, set in an extraordinary time and place when beauty, faith, and art were celebrated above all.

If there is one thing you may not know about me, it is that I love history. In any form. Fiction, is a big favorite because I can explore these eras that I love so much by following characters that may or may not have existed through the streets of whatever city the book is focused on.

Everyone has their favorite time periods, I have quite a few. The Miracles of Prato is set in one of my favorite periods. During the Medici era of young Italy. The monk painters were all the going rage and Fra Filippo Lippi was one of the most amazing of them all. He worked with his young muse Lucrezia to create many of his masterpieces.

The book is peppered with many appearances from a host of side characters who actually lived in the city at the time. I adored walking the streets of Florence. The prose was fantastic and the history so on point I began to wonder did a historian write the book! I was surprised to see that the co-authors worked so well together, one being a novelist and the other being a historian. I think it gave this book something extra.

If you like Carolly Erickson or Allison Weir you will love The Miracles of Prato.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via the fantabulous ladies at TLC Booktours. Check them out!

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4 Responses so far

  1. Gravatar

    Nice review. This sounds like a book I’d love! :)

  2. Gravatar

    Hmmm, I just don’t find myself reading much historical fiction these days, it just isn’t jumping off my shelf at me. Do you think this one would make for good book club discussion? I don’t think either club has read anything set more than 100 years ago for a while, and we should :-).

  3. Gravatar

    I think there is a lot to discuss for sure. The religion, the bastard children. The lust, the Medici family are always great for discussion. The monk painters have created some of my favorite works. In some cases they were castrated and made to live in a tiny cell never leaving. Their relationship with art and God is always a fascinating torment.

  4. Gravatar

    So glad you liked it! It sounds like a fabulous book. I know that many history buffs hate the inevitable errors in historical fiction, so I’m glad to hear this book holds true to fact!

    Thanks for being on this tour!

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