June 2010 Indie Next List
“This fascinating novel follows the creation of a series of Italian frescoes while telling a fast-paced story about a real-life Renaissance painter-monk and the nun he seduced. Book groups will find plenty to discuss as The Miracles of Prato looks at the role of women, painting, patronage, and the church in 15th-century Tuscany in a way that makes them accessible, intriguing, and engrossing. I felt like I'd been been to Italy and seen Fra Lippi's masterpiece in Prato for myself!”
— Cindy DeTommoso, Clinton Book Shop, Clinton, NJ
March 2009 Indie Next List
“Based on the true story of Fra Filippo Lippi's love for a young nun (whom he immortalized as the Madonna in many of his greatest works), this novel is beautifully evocative of Renaissance Italy, and I found the descriptions of the process of Lippi's artistry to be insightful and enlightening. A wonderful book to take on a journey to Tuscany.”
— Jennie Turner-Collins, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH
Italy, 1456. The Renaissance is in glorious bloom. A Carmelite monk, the great artist Fra Filippo Lippi acts as chaplain to the nuns of the Convent Santa Margherita. It is here that he encounters the greatest temptation of his life, beautiful Lucrezia Buti, who has been driven to holy orders more by poverty than piety. In Lucrezia's flawless face Lippi sees the inspiration for countless Madonnas and he brings the young woman to his studio to serve as his model. But as painter and muse are united in an exhilarating whirl of artistic discovery, a passionate love develops, one that threatens to destroy them both even as it fuels some of Lippi's greatest work.
About the Author
Lico Albanese has written for the New York Times and Chicago Tribune. She teaches creative writing to children in the Montclair, New Jersey, school system and was awarded a 1997-98 New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship in fiction.
Laura Morowitz is a professor of art history and coauthor of Consuming the Past: The Medieval Revival in Fin-de-Siecle France. They both live in New Jersey with their families.
“Like Fra Filippo’s paintings, this love story, set in one of the most intriguing historical periods, is suffused with clear, warm color and fine attention to detail.”
-Debra Dean, author of The Madonnas of Leningrad
“This novel based on the life of Fra Filippo Lippi will be lapped up by fans of historical romance.”
-Publishers Weekly on MIRACLES OF PRATO
“The Miracles of Prato is a time machine, taking the reader back to the height of the Italian Renaissance, revealing a world of childlike innocence and illicit passion, harsh injustice and saintly miracles, and wafting around it all like rare perfume, the creation of art for the glory of God.”
-Eleanor Herman, author of Mistress of the Vatican, on MIRACLES OF PRATO
“A richly detailed and thoroughly engrossing story told with equal measures of ardor, tenderness, and compassion, THE MIRACLES OF PRATO offers a poignant portrayal of the heartbreak of two people caught in the Church’s grip during the Italian Renaissance.”
-Judith Lindbergh, author of The Thrall’s Tale, on MIRACLES OF PRATO
“Richly textured Renaissance romance. …[T]he authors have fashioned an irresistibly passionate novel steeped in art, history, and the miracles wrought by love.”
-Booklist on MIRACLES OF PRATO