The Silkworm Keeper
Old sins have long shadows ~ Italian Proverb
Giulia Tofana never wanted to be a nun, but she is determined to atone for her past misdeeds by making her new monastery a success.
When an unexpected disaster closes the convent, Giulia is forced to turn to her old friend Fabio Pasello for help. Giulia still has intense feelings for Fabio and Fabio’s passion for her has never diminished.
But they are not the same people they were before. Giulia has taken her vows, and Fabio is apprenticed to Gianlorenzo Bernini the famous sculptor, and has become one of Bernini’s rakish libertines. They could not be further apart.
To add to their problems, Giulia cannot escape her reputation as a poisoner, and is soon embroiled in a plot against Fabio’s patron, Pope Urban VIII. Faced with the idea of murder, will Giulia renounce her vows or embrace them?
Inspired by true stories, this is a novel of nuns and courtesans, artists and priests, in the shadow and splendour of the Eternal City.
'Swift is a consummate historical novelist, basing her books on immaculate research and then filling the gaps between real events and real people with eloquent storytelling, atmospheric scene setting and imaginative plot lines.' - The Visitor