Connections with the past create situations in the present as Maddie takes her own world to Rome to start a new career and a new life. Within this novel you will get to know Maddie and learn about the traumatic encounter she had with her college professor some she was supposed to trust but betrayed her . Violence, sexual abuse, defilement is at the heart of this novel as you meet the women who joined her art therapy group coming to Rome to face their demons head on and using art to help soothe the way. But as we get to know Maddie in the present, we also learn about her journeys into the past meeting several women whose lives have a great impact on hers in the present.
An artist so powerful in her work and true story of her rape and trial as the author brings her to life within this novel. Eternally Artemisia is brought to life in this realistic depiction of her story as she tells of her trust in a man who used her, blackmailed her into submission and a trial that will shock readers in the past and present as Maddie relives it along with Artemisia .
We meet Camilla who is reluctant at first to join the group. Relating her story, we learn about what happened to her and that she was shunned because of what age experienced and yet her boyfriend Davide is supporting her. An event with these two people and an invitation that follows from someone in the family leads her to learn more about Mateo as she once again travels back to the past.
While Maddie in the present learns more about Matteo she travels to the past and wakes as his wife. The scenes are vividly depicted and you realize that from her conversations with Martina in the present that having this man in the past you realize her need to have someone permanent in her life as she searches for someone to fulfill her but what will happen when she awakens in the present?
Maddie remains in the past but as different people yet with the same name and friends. In the flashback we meet her married to Matteo who is enthralled with learning about the stars and traveling into space along with Galileo and his friendship with the Medici family. We get to know Artemisia and how she was tortured and her entry into the Academy allowing her to be accepted as an equal to men and her work sought after . Maddie becomes part of her world and with Matteo’s okay she works alongside Artemisia as a model, but things take a sinister turn as the author brings Agostino back to taunt Artemisia and bait her into compliance. With the aid of Maddie and Matteo they devise a plan to bring him down but sometimes not everything turns out the way you expect. As the love of Florence comes to a tragic ending for some when ideas and hopes are shattered and once again Maddie’s world ends once again to begin as another Maddie at a different point in time.
Maddie owns her own fashion business along with her assistant Bettina they create dresses and fashion for royalty and for stars. Matteo is her liver and friend as we once again learn more about her new world his role and the link to Artemisia as her paintings come into the new present and her story is once again toke as we relive the prologue where she Judith commit a murder now depicted vividly in a portrait. Maddie seems content and she show she hopes will be a success as the new fashion statement will be zippers . But things go south again and the ending of this section is once again tragic as the author creates another twist another murder and mire heartbreak for her but not before allowing readers to hear the voice and see the actions of a dictator namely Mussolini and a final farewell as Maddie is once again the object of someone’s wrath and attention.
The stars and the planets plus his views took Matteo’s life and a jealous rival in another but the final chapter will take her where no man ventured before as the story draws to a close and yet another adventure and works just might be in store for Maddie.
Each chapter is like another story in the life of each Maddalena as we get to know her in many ways and yet the one link is her connection with Artemisia and her art. Painting is her life, creating a world of fashion became her love with her own business but things connect between each part of the story as she meets Matteo once again and yet they remind her of Agostino who played a role in the tragedy she faced even though his fate was well deserved. Within each part of the novel we learn of her connection to Artemisia and her connection to Judith and Holofernes and the murder depicted at the start of the novel. Each section is connected to art and to Maddalena’s lust for the art world and to become connected and a part of someone’s life as in the present she has yet to find a perfect mate and yet within the world’s the author created for her some rich in research and authenticity, she finds different types of relationships, different loves yet all linked to her passion for art, music and creating herbal remedies. But the ending will bring it all into another time period and where will she find herself next?
Well researched and developed over many time periods as Maddie travels from the past to the present and past again but what will her destination be, and will she ever return to her home in Rome?
Fran Lewis just reviews