By Maggie O’Farrell, paperback £9.99,
grown-up fiction
(reviewed by Octavia)

I took The Marriage Portrait with me, to read during a long weekend in Florence in the Spring. We stayed in a fresco covered stone apartment, within a private museum. I love taking a book to read, set in the location where I am travelling to. This book was so sensory, portrayed with the artistic detail and emotive energy of a Renaissance painting. The paintings which are so symbolic within the story. A story that begins in the Medici palace. The palace which I was lucky enough to visit whilst there. Lucrezia, the much-overlooked daughter of Cosimo and Eleanora Medici, is sent to marry Alfonso of Ferrara, at a very young age. A beneficial partnership for both affluent, leading families. Her husband she believes, is trying to kill her. I will say no more. But what I will say is this is a mesmerizing novel, that brings to light some uncomfortable historical truths.