Publication Date: December 16, 2014
Lake Union Publishing
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction
Sofia is trained in secret as a painter in her father’s workshop during a time when women did not paint openly. She loves her work, but her restless spirit leads her to betray her extraordinary gifts to marry a man who comes to despise her for not producing a son. After Sofia’s father is crushed by his own fresco during an attack motivated by a vendetta, Sofia realizes she must escape her loveless marriage. She flees to Siena, where, disguised as a boy, she paints again. When her work attracts the notice of a nobleman who discovers the woman under the dirty smock, Sofia is faced with a choice that nearly destroys her. Meticulously researched settings and compelling characters are united with a strong heroine in this rich portrait of medieval Italy.
The Towers of Tuscany by Carol M. Cram is an amazing work of historical fiction, and a great adventure by a true heroine. I loved the main character, Sophia. In a time where women were supposed to grin and bear it, Sophia chose to take her own path, and run away from her unhappy marriage. The adventure that follows truly makes for a great story. The entire book is perfectly written, and I found it easy to lose myself completely in the story. Sophia’s character was easy to relate to, and as a reader you were rooting for her from the beginning. At the beginning you can really feel Sophia’s frustration with her role in life because she is a female. Her husband married her because she is beautiful, and refuses to allow her to do what she loves, which is to paint. She married below her, even though her father tried to stop her from doing so, because she thought she was in love. She realized that her father was right, but was unable to do anything about it, until her father’s dying wish to take a fresco painting to an acquaintance of his in another city gives her the chance to leave that she so desperately desires.
I give this novel a FIVE out of FIVE stars!
Praise for The Towers of Tuscany“From the very first page, Carol M. Cram captivates with her writing, transporting you to the rolling hills and rich palette of 14th-century Tuscany. You care for the protagonist, Sofia, from the outset and become an ally throughout the perilous pursuit of her beloved art. The twists and turns of the plot, and the fast pace of the writing, make it a book that is very hard to put down. I cannot praise this novel highly enough. It is a story that lingers long after you have reluctantly reached the last page. I highly recommend this book as a must-read and wish this debut novelist great success with her career. She is definitely an author to watch and has earned a firm fan who will be buying her next book.” —Janis Pegrum Smith, Historical Novel Society
"The Towers of Tuscany is a delightful escape to the Siena we all love. Carol Cram has crafted a delicious story about a strong woman torn between her secret past, her love of painting, and the forbidden charms of her rich patron. Hard to resist and highly recommended!” —Anne Fortier, author of the New York Times bestseller Juliet and The Lost Sisterhood
"The Towers of Tuscany has all the elements of a wonderful historical novel—a talented, frustrated heroine; a treacherous, feckless husband; and a promise to a dying, much loved father who orders the heroine on a dangerous mission. Carol is a first rate storyteller. The research is well done. Every chapter displays a fine knowledge of painting technique of the 14th century, and customs and mores of the age. The details of dress, fabric, food, are flawless. The clever dialogue and fast pace make the novel zing along." —Roberta Rich, bestselling author of The Midwife of Venice and The Harem Midwife
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About the AuthorCarol M. Cram is the author of The Towers of Tuscany, an historical novel about a woman painter in fourteenth century Italy. In addition to writing fiction, Carol has enjoyed a great career as an educator, teaching at Capilano University in North Vancouver for over twenty years and authoring forty-plus bestselling textbooks on business communications and software applications for Cengage Learning. She holds an MA in Drama from the University of Toronto and an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Carol is currently focusing as much of her attention as she can spare between walks in the woods on writing historical novels with an arts twist. She and her husband, painter Gregg Simpson, share a life on beautiful Bowen Island near Vancouver, Canada.
Visit her at www.carolcram.com.
The Towers of Tuscany Blog Tour Schedule
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, December 16
Guest Post at The Book Binder's Daughter
Wednesday, December 17
Review at Unshelfish
Thursday, December 18
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book
Monday, December 22
Guest Post at Boom Baby Reviews
Saturday, December 27
Review at Book Nerd
Monday, December 29
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective
Sunday, January 4
Review at HF Obsession
Review at I'd So Rather Be Reading
Monday, January 5
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Tuesday, January 6
Review at 100 Pages a Day - Stephanie's Book Reviews
Thursday, January 8
Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog
Friday, January 9
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time