The sixth unforgettable historical love story set in Italy from Marina Fiorato, internationally bestselling author of THE GLASSBLOWER OF MURANO.
Hidden in the language of Shakespeare's best-loved comedy Much Ado About Nothing, are several clues to an intriguing tale. It seems that the witty lovers Beatrice and Benedick had a previous youthful love affair which ended bitterly. But how did they meet, why did they part, and what brought them together again?
Messina, Sicily, 1588. Beatrice of Mantua comes to the court of her uncle Leonato, to be companion to his daughter, Hero. That fateful summer, Spanish lordling Don Pedro visits for a month-long sojourn on the island with his regiment. In his company is the young soldier Benedick of Padua.
Benedick and Beatrice begin to wage their merry war of wit, which masks the reality that they dance a more serious measure, and the two are soon deeply in love. But the pair are cruelly parted by natural disaster and man-made misunderstanding. Oceans apart, divided by war and slander, Beatrice and Benedick begin their ten-year odyssey back to Messina and each other.
In a journey that takes us from sunlit Sicily to the crippled Armada fleet and from ancient superstition to the glorious Renaissance cities of the north, Marina Fiorato tells a story of intrigue, treachery and betrayal that will shed a new light on Shakespeare's most appealing lovers.
Richly detailed and evocative . . . an unforgettable historical love story. Beautifully written and worth losing yourself in.
- Candis Magazine
In Marina Fiorato's beautifully imagined novel, these two witty, fierce characters once again get to take centre stage . . . Beatrice and Benedick's is a story that has become legendary, but Marina Fiorato manages nonetheless to breathe new life into it. Not only does she fill out the details of the protagonists' lives, transforming them into characters with backgrounds, histories and contexts, but she creates meaningful and inventive narratives that inform the play . . . this book is a real pleasure. - We Love this Book/Bookseller
Captures the scents, passion and vigour of Italy - Books Quarterly
Fiorato creates her own masterpiece - Booklist
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, where she read for a master's degree in Shakespeare. After university she studied art and worked in the film and music industries, creating visuals for U2, The Rolling Stones and the Queen musical We Will Rock You. Her novels Daughter of Siena and Beatrice & Benedick were shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Association Historial Fiction Award. Marina was married on the Grand Canal and lives in north London with her husband, son and daughter. You can find out more about Marina and her writing at www.marinafiorato.com and follow her on Twitter @marinafiorato