Book of the Week: The Miracles of Prato

By Holly Tucker

What would happen if a painter-monk fell in love with a young novitiate? And what happens when an art historian pairs up with a novelist? Answer--The Miracles of Prato: A Novel.

The page-turning novel opens with a birth, a scandal--and then leads the reader into the dark corners of convent life during the Renaissance. It's a beautiful book built on the equally spell-binding paintings by one of Italy's masters, Fra Filippo Lippi.

The authors will come by on Thursday to talk a bit about the Sacred Belt of the Virgin. A topic right up our alley, given how fascinated we are by love, sex and childbirth here at Wonders and Marvels.

In the meantime, you may wish to study up on your art history with a couple of great articles from the New York Times--one of which describes the research that the authors did in Italy so they could be sure to have their details right.

Eternal Objects of Desire (Fra Filippo Lippi exhibit, Art Review, Roberta Smith)

In Tuscany, the Revealing of a Forbidden Love (Laurie Lico Albanese)

And for those of you who love book trailers, take a look here.

Image: Fra Filippo Lippi, "The Virgin with the Sacra Cintola" (1450s). Museo Civico, Prato.

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