Trade Paperback - Used
So begins the 'secret book' of Grazia dei Rossi -- a written legacy from a mother to her son. Heiress to a Jewish banking dynasty, secretary to the world-renowned Isabella d'Este, married to the Pope's Jewish body physician, and lover of the Christian Lord Pirro Gonzaga, Grazia dei Rossi is a woman suspended between two cultures, forced to choose between two men, two worlds.As a young girl, she falls in love with a Christian prince and is compelled to make a choice: either convert or give up the love of her life. Love wins out over duty. She enters the House of Converts to prepare herself for Christian marriage. But the Gonzaga family has other plans for their kinsman. He is whisked away to make a more suitable match and Grazia is left in disgrace both at court and with her own people. But Grazia is not destined to languish in misery. An unexpected marriage proposal saves her and she takes up life again as the wife of Judah del Medigo, esteemed as a scholar and physician, adviser to kings and popes. Under Judah's tutelage, Grazia begins her career as a scribe, scholar, and, eventually, confidential secretary to Isabella d'Este. Back in the world of courts and courtiers, she is once again impaled on the sharp horns of the old dilemma: love or duty. Her story, as it unfolds in her secret book, is the story of a woman determined to remain true to her own heart at all costs.
Inspired by an actual letter from the period, author Jacqueline Park has created an unforgettable heroine -- a girl unafraid to petition a duke on behalf of an errant father, a woman unafraid to risk the scorn of her family for love. From townspeople gathering in cobblestone piazzas to the jewels circling a lady'sneck, first-time novelist Park renders Renaissance Italy alive and palpable with the care of a master, weaving a shimmering tapestry that is both grand and intimate.