Eternally Artemisia Book Review
With Artemisia never far from her side, she proves that when we dare to take control of our lives and find the “thing” we are most passionate about, we are limitless and can touch the stars.
About Eternally Artemisia
They say some loves travel through time and are fated to meet over and over again. For Maddie, an art therapist, who wrestles with the “peculiar feeling” she has lived previous lives and is being called to Italy by voices that have left imprints on her soul, this idea is intriguing. Despite her best efforts, however, proof of this has always eluded her. That is, until one illuminating summer in Italy when Maddie’s previous existences start to bleed through into her current reality. When she is introduced to the Crociani family—a noble clan with ties to the seventeenth-century Medici court that boasts of ancestors with colorful pasts—she finally meets the loves of her life. One is a romantic love, and another is a special kind of passion that only women share, strong amongst those who have suffered greatly yet have triumphed despite it. As Maddie’s relationship develops with Artemisia Gentileschi—an artist who in a time when it was unheard of to denounce a man for the crime of rape, did just that—Maddie discovers a kindred spirit and a role model, and just what women are capable of when united together. In a journey that arcs back to biblical days and moves forward in time, Maddie encounters artists, dukes, designers, and movie stars as well as baser and ignoble men. With Artemisia never far from her side, she proves that when we dare to take control of our lives and find the “thing” we are most passionate about, we are limitless and can touch the stars.
“This painting…is for myself, for you- for my daughter- for all the women who are vulnerable and powerless. It is for those who haven’t had their voices heard…I create an alterative and promising world in which women take control” – Eternally Artemisia
Eternally Artemisia is a powerful story of the power of women, love, healing and the strength in standing up for oneself. Artemisia is an incredibly gifted painter but one whom many will never know of simply as she was a woman born in a time when woman were viewed as nothing more than a wife and vessel to bear children. She was full of light but held her own pain and struggles after being raped and forced to go through a humiliating trial to convict her rapist.
Maddie loves her art and finds healing in her work, something I can relate to. There is nothing more releasing and healing than becoming lost in your art – whether sketching, doodling, painting and even creating collages. We find ourselves in these moments, learning more about ourselves and allowing ourselves to truly show how we feeling. Maddie has always felt a tug to the past, and I loved how through this novel we see her ties to not only Artemisia but also to Matteo.
The story is full of love and healing – both the bond and love between women but also the enduring love between a husband and wife. I loved how the story tied together characters that were born centuries apart and how the love between Matteo and Maddie was eternal. Their souls finding each other centuries apart, a love that is born of respect, strength and honesty which makes your heart swell with hope and love.
Eternally Artemisia is a rich, well written novel full of history, art, strength, love and so much more. It is a novel that you cannot put down as you need to know more about not only the artist but Maddie and her own ties to her. It is a novel of hope and strength, that shows the power of a woman – that she can conquer anything set in her path and when she puts her mind to it, she can reach the stars. It is a definite must read novel.
About the Author
Melissa Muldoon is the author of four novels set in Italy: Dreaming Sophia, Waking Isabella, Eternally Artemisia, and The Secret Life of Sofonisba Anguissola. All four books tell the stories of women and their journeys of self-discovery to find love, uncover hidden truths, and follow their destinies to shape a better future for themselves. Melissa is also the author of the Studentessa Matta website, where she promotes the study of Italian language and culture through her dual-language blog written in Italian and English (studentessamatta.com). Studentessa Matta means the “crazy linguist” and has grown to include a podcast, Tutti Matti per l’Italiano and the Studentessa Matta, YouTube channel, Facebook page and Instagram feed. Melissa also created Matta Italian Language Immersion Programs, which she co-leads with Italian schools in Italy to learn Italian in Italy. Through her website, she also offers the opportunities to live and study in Italy through Homestay programs. Melissa has a B.A. in fine arts, art history, and European history from Knox College, a liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, as well as a master’s degree in art history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She has also studied painting and art history in Florence. She is an artist, designer, and illustrated the cover art for all four of her books. Melissa is the managing director of Matta Press.
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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.