Reading Wednesday

Book Review The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell

Maggie O’Farrell is one of my favorite authors. Her books like Hamnet and The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox always make their way to my favorite reads of the year. And this brand new, beautifully told, story will also be a favorite of my reading year. Here is my Book Review The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell.

Book Review The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell

Like most of O’Farrell’s novels, she weaves real life characters and factual history with fictional persons and events to create a magical story. The setting is Renaissance Italy with the ruling Medici family of Florence. The story of the young duchess Lucrezia de’ Medici will captivate you as O’Farrell shares the young girls remarkable story from conception to adulthood.

Lucrezia is unlike her sisters, less concerned about her looks or who she might marry than she is with nature and art. She never imagines a handsome husband or time at Court. But when her older sister dies unexpectedly, Lucrezia is betrothed to marry the man meant to be her sister’s husband…the ruler of Ferrara.

Not What It Seems

At only 15 years old she is thrust into an unfamiliar world, with a strange and mystifying husband, and his unusual family and courtiers. The marriage is not what it seems. Lucrezia is an outsider and from the beginning fears for what the future holds. Her only friend, a maid she brought from Florence.

Lucrezia sits for a wedding portrait commissioned by her husband, but as the months go by and she does not conceive an heir, all she has given up and indeed her future hang in the balance. How can she protect herself from this man whose personality is unstable and erratic?

Like her other works, O’Farrell’s beautiful writing brings the reader into the Italian Renaissance and the unusual plight of this young women. The story offers the reader brilliant imagery, prose and character development. Another O’Farrell masterpiece. Thanks for reading my Book Review The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell.

*****Five Stars for The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell

Read last week’s book review Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance by Allison Espach

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