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  • John Murray
  • John Murray

The Madonna of the Almonds

Marina Fiorato

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Fiction, Historical romance, Historical fiction

The second unforgettable historical love story set in Italy from Marina Fiorato, author of the bestselling 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?

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Praise for The Madonna of the Almonds

  • Praise for Marina Fiorato:

  • 'A great read' - Best

  • Captures the scents, passion and vigour of Italy - Books Quarterly

  • Fiorato creates her own masterpiece - Booklist

  • Mesmerising - Waterstones Books Quarterly

  • Recommended - Good Book Guide

  • A sizzling . . . read, and a must to pack in the suitcase - Italian Magazine

  • The enchanting tale . . . is rich with passion, mystery and intrigue - Booktime

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Marina Fiorato

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 and follow her on Twitter @marinafiorato

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