Many noble daughters of Venice are consigned to abbeys for want of a dowry. In 1426, Filipa Barbagio is sent to San Nicolai di Torcello, where she enjoys the hedonistic lifestyle available to her: dressed in the latest fashions, wearing expensive jewellery, attending masquerade balls, entertaining her family and taking men to be her companions. And then she falls in love.
Dardi Zorzi loves Clario Duodo, but society expects an arranged marriage with sweet Caterina. Their marriage is difficult at first but gets better over time, especially after the birth of their daughter Lucia. Tragically Caterina is murdered and Dardi is the prime suspect. Filipa comforts and helps her oldest and dearest friend, but then Dardi is accused of the most heinous crime of all. In the aftermath of this terrible denunciation, Filipa risks losing her newly-found love while Dardi risks losing all.
What an amazing story! Renaissance Venice told from three different points of view: bright, extroverted Filipa Barbarigo who steals every scene she's in, honest and decent Marin Curri, happily married to the wonderful Blanca, and Dardi Zorzi who has to make the best of an almost untenable situation. Amazing backdrop, amazing story, amazing characters, and the most masterful ending that I have ever come across. Congratulations. Sarah Holmes – author of Promise of Canaan