A true Renaissance woman, Melissa Muldoon weaves her passions for art and Italy into a stirring saga that sweeps across centuries. As her time-traveling heroine Maddie reconnects with kindred souls, we meet Artemisia Gentileschi, the 17th–century artist who overcame rape and ignominy to gain respect and acclaim. Historic figures such as Galileo and Mussolini also come to life in this intricately plotted novel, but the women who defy all constraints to take control of their destinies are the ones who prove to be eternally fascinating.
Italy, love eternal, history, villains and heroes/heroines... a great tale!
Like an intricate Italian tapestry, Melissa Muldoon’s third novel – Eternally Artemisia – masterfully weaves a captivating tale that literally spans the ages. And like a tapestry’s beginnings, many threads must somehow find their way together to create the unforgettable whole of this tale of never-ending love, bonds eternal, and the innate strength of women. Not an easy task, Muldoon as managed to do just this, taking the reader from Biblical times, to the present, to Renaissance Italy, to the tumultuous 1930’s in Europe…and beyond (don’t want to give the ending away!). As with many stories involving leaps through time and eras, it may take the reader a chapter or two to allow the layers to peel away, revealing the rich story and the clever connections of characters and events. Muldoon introduces us to the two protagonists: Maddie, an art therapist whose parallel lives connect her through time to her one eternal love Matteo, and her muse, Artemisia Gentileschi, a 17th century Italian artist whose fortitude overcame extensive trials in a time when women were afforded few, if any, rights. Muldoon’s expertise in art history and her passion for Italy, coupled with her gift of vivid and richly detailed storytelling, allow us to feel as if we’re tagging along with Maddie, Artemisia, Matteo, and a whole cast of characters, many literally stepping from the pages of history. Just the right amount of intrigue, romance, menace, humor, suspense, and joy are the threads that bind together this wonderful historical fiction novel and draw the reader into that blissful state of “can’t put it down”. However, it’s the essence of the story that left me relishing the afterthoughts: love can be eternal, friendship is golden, hope and restoration lie within us all.
Melissa Muldoon author of “Eternally Artemisia” wins Silver Award in Reader Views 2020-2021 Historical Fiction Category