Merry Wanderer of the Night + tlc book tour

The Miracles of Prato

An Italian Carmelite monk, Fra Filippo Lippi, prays through painting in The Miracles of Prato

. He became a monk by chance, but he is an artist in every way. When the beautiful nun Lucrezia Buti enters his life he sees her as the only model he can use to create the Madonna in a very important painting he is struggling with. Lucrezia is also a nun by chance and hates the idea of giving up beautiful silks and dresses simply because she is a nun. Through a shared love of beauty Filippo and Lucrezia bond, but their love is forbidden because they have made a vow to serve God. Both are willing to break this vow, but there are other people and incidents that make the situation that much more difficult.

From the author's note I gather that not much is actually known about Lucrezia Buti or her relationship with Fra Filippo Lippi, but Laurie Albaenese and Laura Morowitz make a very convincing, romantic story about a man and a woman. It was really interesting for me to see how important religion was in art during the Renaissance. Fra Filippo Lippi was a successful artist because he created religious paintings and was a religious man. When Fra Filippo Lippi and Lucrezia move forward with their relationship, Lucrezia is shunned by the people in the town because their relationship is considered to be sinful. The world they lived in was so different from the one that I live in, which gave the story a lot of dimension. The book showed some views of women from the time period, and how a woman's sexual desires were frowned upon while a man's were accepted or ignored, even if he was supposed to abstain from sex.

While I really enjoyed reading about the trials of their relationship and Lucrezia's struggles as a female, I never really felt a strong connection to Lucrezia. When she is forced to become a nun all see is upset about is not having beautiful silks anymore (and the loss of her father, which is why she became a nun, but that isn't gone into with as much thought). It seemed like she wasn't taking control of her life for the majority of the book, although towards the end I felt like she got stronger. I really felt like all I knew about her was that she was beautiful and liked beautiful things. That wasn't enough for me to sympathize with her character, and I struggled with the first half of the book because of that. The second half of the book she begins to grow stronger, and the plot picks up several new strands which make the book more enticing to read. The struggle with Lucrezia's character during the first half of the book was worth the ending for me.

I give this book a C.

For more thoughts about The Miracles of Prato check out the other stops on this tour!

I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you make a purchase using one of my links I will earn a small percentage which will then go back into this blog. Thanks to Trish from TLC Book Tours and Harper Collins for providing me a review copy of this book.

art, book review, historical fiction, LIFE, love story, TIME, and more:

The Miracles of Prato + tlc book tour