The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi

BOOK: The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi
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“A sprawling historical novel that boasts its research on every page.” — Elizabeth Renzetti,
Globe and Mail

“Park has fashioned a dense, sweeping narrative of Renaissance Italy.” — 
New York Times

“It is a rich Italian tapestry of human vices and virtues . . . in fact, all the irresistible elements of a fairy tale.” — 
Toronto Star

“Possessing a precise eye for detail and a superb sense of time and place, Park has produced a remarkable saga about life during the Renaissance . . . An imaginative work deserving a wide audience.” — 
Winnipeg Free Press

“A historical novel with a Renaissance Jewish heroine as captivating as Scarlett O’Hara. Simply irresistible.” — 

“Jacqueline Park’s novel illuminates with remarkable accuracy the Italian Jewish world of the High Renaissance . . . [and is] firmly grounded in historical documentation. Park has demonstrated that she is a historical novelist of very high calibre.” — Norman Cantor, Professor of History, New York University, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and author of
The Sacred Chain

“One is reluctant to close this window on a dramatic chapter of the distant past, or to part company with a woman so full of grace and gumption.” — 
San Francisco Chronicle

“Wonderful. An absolutely fascinating, compulsively readable novel about a sixteenth-century woman who would be considered outstanding in any era.” — 
Miami Herald

“An epic book . . . Park’s picture of the Renaissance is as incandescent as Italy’s frescoes.” — 
Detroit Free Press

“Rich and impressive. Park has written a vivid novel of the dawn of modern times. Subtly complex and intensely readable, it is also very wise.” — 
Philadelphia Inquirer

“Park has written a superior piece of historical fiction, rich in Renaissance detail.” — 
Dallas Morning News

“Subtle and seductive . . . Park has created a lively, courageous, and introspective heroine. Through Grazia, she elucidates the intricate and perilous world of Italian Jews during the Renaissance, telling her spellbinding story with honesty and humour and meticulous historical accuracy.” — 
Publishers Weekly
(starred review)

“An exquisitely crafted evocation of Renaissance Italy. An engrossing and illuminating chronicle of one woman’s lifelong quest to maintain a delicate balance between faith and expediency.” — 

“The splendour and tumult of the Italian Renaissance live
con brio
in this page-turning tale . . . A story as rich as Raphael’s tapestries . . . A genuine Renaissance woman memorably struts her stuff in a first novel that consummately mixes fact and fancy. Historical fiction at its best.” — 
Kirkus Reviews

“Reading Jacqueline Park’s superbly realized novel threw me back into the mesmerized pleasure I used to feel in adolescence, when I adored historical novels that were thick with details of place, intrigue, and fierce emotion.
The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi
is a superb work of scholarship and imagination, written with such smooth authority, one would swear the author knew everyone personally. I am so admiring, and so jealous.” — Sandra Scofield, author of
A Chance to See Egypt
Plain Seeing

Copyright © 1997 Jacqueline Park

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Distribution of this electronic edition via the Internet or any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal. Please do not participate in electronic piracy of copyrighted material; purchase only authorized electronic editions. We appreciate your support of the author’s rights.

First published in the United States in 1997 by Simon and Schuster, Inc.

This edition published in 2014 by
House of Anansi Press Inc.
110 Spadina Avenue, Suite 801
Toronto, ON, M5V 2K4
Tel. 416-363-4343
Fax 416-363-1017

ISBN 978-1-77089-890-5

Cover design: Alysia Shewchuk

We acknowledge for their financial support of our publishing program the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund.

This book is for my granddaughter,

Molly Egan,

whose early enthusiasm gave me the heart to persevere, and for

Ben Park,

my constant reader, lexicographer, grammarian, and much

loved husband, who saw me through to the end.



he Roman port of Ostia, October 17, 1526.

The ship’s bells clang out their signal: Andrea Doria’s four-master the
is about to set sail for Constantinople. With an earsplitting screech the winch swings the anchor up out of the muddy Tiber and drops it onto the deck. The great ship slips her moorings and edges away from the quay. At the prow stands an imposing figure of a man wrapped in the austere black affected by the scholars of the Pope’s university. He is waving.

BOOK: The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi
2.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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