In the fourteenth century on an Italian island called Riva di Pignoli, terrible and wonderful things are about to happen. A corpse washes up on shore and is quickly hidden, a beautiful stranger enters the village hiding a miraculous secret, and for the first time in the memories of all the inhabitants, spring has not arrived.
What is wrong in this small world, and what is right, become the backdrop for a mesmerizing narrative iridescent with the colors and textures of medieval Italy. Steeped in both authentic details and magical realism, SIMPLE PRAYERS creates a long-ago place that has a chilling familiarity . . . where human actions have thrown the earth off balance and where the passions and pleasures of daily life may carry a plague that not even love can heal…
[A] delightful, exotic fable . . . so lavish and so colorful it’s like a meal in the open air, laid out on brocade.
A work of magic . . . a journey of wonder . . .
Brilliant . . . provocative . . . passionately alive!
An extract from the novel:
Jean Pierre Michel Chernovsky is a paragon of the Gilded Age, a product of both Old World and New, and a collector of all things beautiful. Benjamin Chernovsky is his adopted orphan of the Depression, a boy whose remarkable beauty is flawed by a strawberry birthmark on his right cheek and throat and whose mind is blessed with a disturbing and miraculous gift. United by something more binding than blood, rivals for the affections of one indomitable and exotic woman, they embark upon an odyssey filled with wild adventures and startling discoveries, a journey that will alter them—and their century—forever.
An endearing, magical romp.
Whimsical, fanciful, and poignant. Thoroughly delightful.
Enigmatic and engaging