written by Kate Forsyth
Vintage | ISBN 9781741668452
Paperback – 564 pages
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Charlotte-Rose de la Force has been banished from court by the Sun King, Louis XIV, after a series of scandalous love affairs. She is comforted by an old nun, S ur Seraphina, who tells her the tale of a young girl who, a hundred years earlier, is sold by her parents for a handful of bitter greens a After Margherita's father steals a handful of greens - parsley, wintercress and rapunzel - from the walled garden of the courtesan, Selena Leonelli, they give up their daughter to save him from having both hands cut off. Selena is the famous red-haired muse of the artist Tiziano, first painted by him in 1513 and still inspiring him at the time of his death, sixty-one years later. Called La Strega Bella, Selena is at the centre of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition. Locked away in a tower, growing to womanhood, Margherita sings in the hope someone will hear her. One day, a young man does a Three women, three lives, three stories, braided together to create a compelling story of desire, obsession, black magic, and the redemptive power of love.