The second unforgettable historical love story set in Italy from Marina Fiorato, author of the bestseller THE GLASSBLOWER OF MURANO. For fans of Philippa Gregory, Sarah Dunant and Alison Weir.
Bernardino Luini, favoured apprentice of Leonardo da Vinci, is commissioned to paint a religious fresco in the hills of Lombardy. His eye is caught by the beautiful Simonetta di Saronno, a young noblewoman who has lost her husband to battle, and whose fortune is gone. Captivated by her beauty and sadness, Bernardino paints Simonetta's likeness, immortalizing her as the Madonna in his miraculous frescoes in Saronno's church. As the sittings progress, artist and model fall in love, and Simonetta reciprocates Luini's genius by creating a drinnk for her lover from the juice of almonds - the famous Amaretto di Saronno.
As the frescoes and the liqueur near their completion, the couple's affair distils into a heady brew of religious scandal which threatens their love, and ultimately their lives. Who is the mysterious Jew with a golden hand? And how does a mute young soldier affect Simonetta's destiny?
Marina Fiorato is half-Venetian. She was born in Manchester and raised in the Yorkshire Dales. She is a history graduate of Oxford University and the University of Venice. After university she studied art and has worked as an illustrator, actress and film reviewer. Marina was married on the Grand Canal and lives in north London with her husband, son and daughter. She is the author of five novels: The Glassblower of Murano, The Madonna of the Almonds, The Botticelli Secret, Daughter of Siena and The Venetian Contract. You can follow Marina on Twitter at @MarinaFiorato and find out more about her and her writing at www.marinafiorato.com