Thanks for dropping by today to read about PASSION BLUE and meet the author, Victoria Strauss. I'm sure you'll enjoy her insights into the past as much as I did.SUMMARY:Be sure you know your true heart’s desire, or you may find yourself surprised by what you receive.
This is the warning the Astrologer-Sorcerer gives Giulia when she pays him to create a magical talisman for her. The scorned illegitimate daughter of a Milanese nobleman, Giulia is determined to defy the dire fate predicted by her horoscope, and use the talisman to claim what she believes is her heart’s desire: true love and a place where she belongs–not likely prospects for a girl about to be packed off to the cloistered world of a convent.
But the convent of Santa Marta is full of surprises. There are strict rules, long hours of work, and spiteful rivalries…but there’s also friendship, and the biggest surprise of all: a workshop of female artists who produce paintings of astonishing beauty, using a luminous blue mixed from a secret formula: Passion blue. Yet even as Giulia begins to learn the mysteries of the painter’s craft, the magic of the talisman is at work, and a forbidden romance beckons her down a path of uncertainty and danger. She is haunted by the sorcerer’s warning, and by a question: does she really know the true compass of her heart?
Set in Renaissance Italy, this richly imagined novel about a girl’s daring journey towards self-discovery transports readers into a fascinating, exotic world where love, faith, and art inspire passion–of many different hues.
If you could go back to Renaissance Italy:
What would you like to try?
The food! There's a dinner party in Passion Blue, and I did some research on Italian Renaissance recipes. They sound awesome. Italy was unusual in Renaissance Europe for the variety of its food, and for its abundance of fruits and vegetables.
What would you like to see?
Venice. I visited it when I was a teenager, and fell in love with its exotic, mysterious beauty. The alleys and the squares, the palaces, the Piazza San Marco, the soft light, the constant presence of water...it's just a place like no other. You can feel the past—there are so many places you can go in Venice and it's as if you've stepped back a hundred, two hundred, even five hundred years. I'd love to go back for real and see Venice at the height of its power and wealth in the 15th and 16th centuries, when it was considered one of the wonders of the world.
Who would you want to talk to?
This will probably sound like a cliché answer, for someone who loves Renaissance art as much as I do...Leonardo da Vinci. His exquisite paintings and drawings were just the beginning of his incredible creativity. For such a famous man, not very much is known about his life. I'd like to learn more.
What would you avoid like the plague (other than the plague)?
Florence, while Girolamo Savonarola was in power there (late 1400s). He was a charismatic preacher and prophet who waged a campaign against the "vice" of the city and whipped the inhabitants into a puritanical frenzy. He and his followers instituted new laws, organized bonfires of the vanities in which thousands of books and artworks were destroyed, and recruited gangs of youths to patrol the streets looking for immodest dress and behavior. It must have been a terrifying place to be. (On the other hand, I'd love to set a book there.)
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