Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Read With Us: It's a New Fall Book!

Today's the day we announce a new Read With Us book for fall! You might already be aware of this if you attended the Zoom discussion for Sorrow and Bliss, but now everyone will know. Would you like to read a book inspired by a poem describing a painting portraying a young woman who actually lived in 16th-century Italy? 

You can have all of that and more (but no nuns!) in our new fall book, The Marriage Portrait, by Maggie O' Farrell. O'Farrell has taken a little-known historical figure and Robert Browning's poem "The Last Duchess" and written a book with evocative descriptions and interesting characters. Lucrezia de' Medici was married at 15 to the Duke of Ferrara; this seems awfully young by today's standards, but her marriage was delayed several years through the clever plottings of her nursemaid, Sofia. Eventually, Lucrezia is married to Alfonso d’Este, ruler of Ferrara, Modena, and Reggio, and she is left to determine whether her husband is the caring person he has presented himself as or whether he wants to kill her. I don't want to say much more and spoil this intriguing story, but I think you'll enjoy this engaging and compelling novel, 

I was lucky enough to eye-read a pre-publication copy, but I'm currently listening to the audio version from the library and I just had a short wait. It's available from Amazon for only $14.99 for Kindle and $24.80 for a hardback copy. The audio version is also available from Audible. If you're lucky enough to have a local independent bookstore, I'm sure you'll be able to find a copy there. 

Kym, Carole, and I will be talking about the book, giving additional information, and doing promotional posts throughout October. Discussion day for The Marriage Portrait is scheduled for January 10, 2023, at 7:00 pm Eastern time, so mark your calendars. We'll ask questions on our blogs that day and then host the always fun, educational, and entertaining Zoom discussion.

"In 1560, fifteen-year-old Lucrezia di Cosimo de’ Medici left Florence to begin her married life with Alfonso II d’Este Duke of Ferrara. Less than a year later, she would be dead. The official cause of death was given as "putrid fever", but it was rumored that she had been murdered by her husband."

Did Lucrezia's husband succeed in killing her? I hope you'll Read With Us and find out!


  1. I am on the (exceedingly long) wait list at my library. I am hoping more copies are added. If not, I will happily purchase this to join in the discussion!

  2. It's such a good book, Bonny! I hope lots of people will choose to . . . Read With Us! :-)

  3. Great set up for this announcement, Bonny! I'm looking forward to another wonderful season for Read With Us!

  4. This is definitely on my 'to read' list!

  5. Maggie O'Farrell never writes the same book twice and I've loved every book of hers that I've read. This one included! The discussion will be a good one!

  6. Great pick! I'm looking forward to reading for myself next month and following along the discussion with y'all.


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