Medieval Italy and its a men's world. Sofia the only child of a famous painter in San Gimignano is a talented painter herself. She knows it herself, her father himself knows it though he never wants to acknowledge it, she not being the longed for son whom he never has but he cannily knows that her talent is useful to him in advertising his business. Her paintings are beautiful and she has the "touch" that only a gifted painter has.
Fast forward to Sofia growing up and her desperate need to be a painter in her own right. She knows this is impossible as it is prohibited. Sofia's first error is persuading her father to let her marry someone of her choice - she falls in love with him and the marriage turns out to be disastrous. She does not provide him with the longed for children and this becomes the point at which the marriage disintegrates. Throughout her marriage though she continues to paint secretly for her father and you know that her talent and manner of painting is improving by the day.
Sofia feels stifled by her life and seeks a way out by disguising herself as a young man and escaping to Siena to the painting house of someone who was known to her father. This happens after her father's murder due to a vendetta and the general mayhem that follows in San Gimignano. Luckily for her she is accepted at the painter's house where his wife also helps Sofia in continuing her disguise as a young man. Sofia is very happy with her life though she has always got to be on guard that her gender will not be discovered. It will spell death for her and destruction to the house that has give her employment.
Falling in love with a client and being discovered by him did not fall into her agenda and this is where the story unravells.
Beautifully descriptively told, meticulously researched history and the story of an unusual woman in turbulent times. This was another book from Amazon which I was able to download free (thank you to all those bloggers who put up these posts re the free downloads). I would never have got to this book otherwise.
The holidays are surely but slowly coming to an end. Buses are once more on the road and people returning to their urban homes. Life proper will start on Monday and offices as well. It has been a very lazy week for me. Tomorrow my eldest daughter, husband and most importantly the baby will be coming on an Easter break from Melbourne!!!!