miércoles, 21 de marzo de 2018

Waking Isabella + sorteo internacional

Feliz día, mis arrebatadores :o) ¿Sabéis que, desde que estudié el arte del Renacimiento italiano en el colegio, es uno de mis periodos favoritos?

Tuve una época en la que leía toda novela que estuviera ambientada en esa época y lugar. Tengo libros muy hermosos y buenos recuerdos que los acompañan. Por eso, me dejé tentar por un tour internacional en que me ofrecieron participar para leer la novela El despertar de Isabella (WAKING ISABELLA), en la que se mezclan elementos dispares de forma maravillosa. Desde arte oculto durante la segunda guerra mundial a romance de varias parejas en épocas distintas, pasando por la búsqueda de la libertad y la creatividad personal de una mujer moderna inspirada por Isabella de Medici.

He disfrutado con la idea de que los sueños pueden cumplirse por muy abandonados o infructuosos que parezcan. Nora es una mujer en la encrucijada de su vida. Tras un divorcio doloroso, busca en el destino señales que le devuelvan sentido a sus metas. Casi de forma mística, se conjugan varios indicios que reviven su pasión de juventud por Italia y el diseño de joyas. La mismísima Isabella de Medici, hija y nieta de famosas figuras en esta renombrada familia, semeja estar convocándola desde la distancia para que extraiga de las sombras del anonimato su propia trayectoria llena de vehemencia y tragedia.

Durante la novela, conoceremos Arezzo, una región italiana que bulle de festivales ecuestres, en el que viven una amiga de Nora y un apuesto hombre que arrastra un difícil recuerdo sobre sus hombros. Me ha gustado esa segunda oportunidad en el amor, que unifica el rejuvenecimiento de las aspiraciones de Nora y una nueva fuerza que encuentra al final, influida por mujeres voluntariosas. La autora no sólo recrea vívidos episodios de alegrías y peligros de la noble Medici a través de la imaginación de Nora, sino que rescata la impresionante época que vivieron en Italia durante la ocupación Nazi mediante un triángulo de personajes que dotan de dramatismo a la novela. Margherita es otra mujer inspiradora junto al hombre que conoció a Picasso e intervino en la salvación de numerosas obras de arte de las garras de los alemanes. 

He disfrutado con las justas medievales de Arezzo, el misterio en torno a Isabella y las obras de arte, el romance trágico y el romance purificador. Tiene algo de triste, por supuesto, pero sobre todo es una historia entretenida, vivificante y que anima a perseguir los sueños o, como mínimo, a hacer el equipaje y viajar a Italia :-D

Citas favoritas / Favourite Quotes:
To extinguish a life was to kill a small piece of beauty.

A part of her would remain behind, and given time, someone would remember... and beauty would be awakened.

If you looked hard enough, you could find beauty in the most unusual places.

There was something timeless and reassuring in knowing art endured while human lives were so fragile and frail.

Beauty is perhaps a means of arousing the senses.

Always remember that creative expression is the ultimate freedom.


Book Title: Waking Isabella: Because beauty can't sleep forever by Melissa Muldoon
Category: Adult Fiction, 250 pages
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: Matta Press
Release date: December 2017
Tour dates: Feb 19 to March 23, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (The story begins with violent rape and murder scene, touches on themes of miscarriage, murder, Nazi violence during war, adultery)

Book Description:

Waking Isabella is a story about uncovering hidden beauty that, over time, has been lost, erased, or suppressed. It also weaves together several love stories as well as a few mysteries. Nora, an assistant researcher, is a catalyst for resolving the puzzle of a painting that has been missing for decades. Set in Arezzo, a small Tuscan town, the plot unfolds against the backdrop of the city’s antique trade and the fanfare and pageantry of its medieval jousting festival. While filming a documentary about Isabella de’ Medici—the Renaissance princess who was murdered by her husband—Nora begins to connect with the lives of two remarkable women from the past. Unraveling the stories of Isabella, the daughter of a fifteenth-century Tuscan duke, and Margherita, a young girl trying to survive the war in Nazi-occupied Italy, Nora begins to question the choices that have shaped her own life up to this point. As she does, hidden beauty is awakened deep inside of her, and she discovers the keys to her creativity and happiness. It is a story of love and deceit, forgeries and masterpieces—all held together by the allure and intrigue of a beautiful Tuscan ghost.


Ever since I discovered Italian art in school, the Renaissance  has been my favourite period in History. Alas, I could not pass the opportunity to read this book where past and present mingle in a quest for beauty.

This contemporary story is flavoured with Italian culture, lost dreams that fight to keep alive, sensual longings and the feminine spirit in search of happiness and freedom.

The light writing makes the novel fluid and easy to read, yet it still manages to convey beauty and heart. Through the eyes of a modern woman, we get to experience the long-delayed return to the land of her youth, her first and most honest dreams, before pragmatism and external influences stopped them from being realized.

What I couldn't resist is that the female character, Nora, is inspired almost by fate to take the slackened reins of her life and take the leap by a historical figure. The Medici family has been a favourite of mine since childhood. After all, they are the epitome of art patrons, cunning business leaders and rulers of cities.

The plot unfolds as Nora embarks on a creative venture in Arezzo, home of interesting and dramatic events that tie into World War II. Through her wildly imaginative eyes, scenes from the past come alive with emotion and turmoil. I loved those.

Love and tragedy seem to go hand in hand. It is heartening to read about people whose unhappiness, despite mistakes and successes alike, shows them where their true aspirations lie. Women of strength and the men they love are as much a feature of this lovely novel as art, courage, people, and how they all interact to create a memorable read.

Whether you're particularly fond of Italy or not, it will prompt you to pack your things and pay a visit to this enchanting land. I really felt like going to Arezzo and recreate all those wonderful anecdotes of hidden art, reawakened romance, and a freedom that's never too late to claim.

Watch the Trailer:


Melissa Muldoon is the Studentessa Matta—the crazy linguist! In Italian, “matta” means “crazy” or “impassioned.” 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.

Melissa promotes the study of Italian language and culture through her dual-language blog, Studentessa Matta (studentessamatta.com). Melissa began the Matta blog to improve her command of the language and to connect with other language learners. It has since grown to include a podcast, “Tutti Matti per l’Italiano,” and the Studentessa Matta YouTube channel. Melissa also created Matta Italian Language Immersion Tours, which she co-leads with Italian partners in Italy.

Waking Isabella is Melissa’s second novel and follows Dreaming Sophia, published in 2016. In this new novel about Italy, the reader is taken on another art history adventure, inspired by Melissa’s experiences living and traveling in Italy, specifically Arezzo, as well as her familiarity with the language and art. For more information about Waking Isabella and links to Melissa’s blogs and social media sites, visit www.MelissaMuldoon.com.

As a student, Melissa lived in Florence with an Italian family. She studied art history and painting and took beginner Italian classes. When she returned home, she threw away her Italian dictionary, assuming she’d never need it again, but after launching a successful design career and starting a family, she realized something was missing in her life. That “thing” was the connection she had made with Italy and the friends who live there. Living in Florence was indeed a life-changing event. Wanting to reconnect with Italy, she decided to start learning the language again from scratch. As if indeed possessed by an Italian muse, she bought a new Italian dictionary and began her journey to fluency—a path that has led her back to Italy many times and enriched her life in countless ways. Now, many dictionaries and grammar books later, she dedicates her time to promoting Italian language studies, further travels in Italy, and sharing her stories and insights about Italy with others. When Melissa is not traveling in Italy, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for Waking Isabella and Dreaming Sophia. She also curates the Dreaming Sophia blog and Pinterest site: The Art of Loving Italy. Please visit the Pinterest page for pictures of Arezzo, the Giostra del Saracino, and all the places we go in Italy in both books. Visit MelissaMuldoon.com for more information about immersion trips to learn the language with Melissa in Italy, as well as the Studentessa Matta blog for practice and tips to learn the Italian language.

Connect with Melissa: 

Enter the International Giveaway!

Ends March 31, 2018

Espero que hayáis disfrutado con esta entrada y probéis suerte con el sorteo. Si conocéis novelas ambientadas en el Renacimiento italiano, ¡recomendadlas en los comentarios! ;o)

Babel viaja a lomos de un libro.

5 comentarios:

Atrapada dijo...

¡Hola! Interesante lo que comentas (aunque no he comprendido la mitad jeje) sin duda debe ser fascinante haber estudiado este tipo de cosas.
¡Suerte a todos!

Besos =)

Melissa Muldoon dijo...

Ciao! Grazie per la condivisione del mio libro con i tuoi lettori del Torre de Babel. Sono molto contenta che ti sia piaciuta la storia. Thank you for sharing my book with your readers on Torre de Babel. I'm so pleased you enjoyed the story. Your heartfelt review is lovely to read. You and your blog followers are exactly the kind of readers I hope to reach, ones who appreciate art, the Renaissance and a plot line that dips from past and present and is carried away with the characters.

Grazie del cuore! Un abbraccio! Melissa Muldoon

Locas del romance dijo...

Que pena no leer en inglés para poder disfrutar de esta belleza, la verdad es que me gustaría participar pero sería desperdiciar una obra.
Un salud🖤

vero77 dijo...

Me apunto...que interesante

Paseando entre páginas dijo...

Hum, la época me gusta pero la trama no me llama demasiado y que esté en inglés...pues va a ser que no. Pero gracias de todos modos^^