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Gabrielle Kimm teaches English and drama at secondary school level. This is her first novel.
Gabrielle Kimm writes with a charm that entices us into a world of intrigue and dark undertones. She creates a passionate love story that gets under your skin, intimate and touching, against a backdrop of danger and treachery. Her vivid portrayal of Medici life is rich and wonderfully imagined, as she draws a skilful portrait of a fascinating time and place - Kate Furnivall, author of THE RUSSIAN CONCUBINESo captivating you'll wish you owned a lace bodice, waiting to be untied! - NowFascinating . . . A gripping read, set against a backdrop of danger and treachery - Star magazineA stunning debut, rich in historical detail, that explores women's freedom, forbidden love and the passions and people of 16th century Tuscany and Ferrara - Irish NewsA stunning debut, rich in historical detail - Woman's Way
"My Last Duchess" is a renowned Robert Browning poem with a serious creepiness factor, and first-time author Kimm successfully capitalizes on the compelling historical events suggested in the verses. Fifteen-year-old Lucrezia de Medici (but not of poisoning fame) is eager for marriage. But her new husband, the Duke of Ferrara, is a twisted aristocrat obsessed with thwarting the Vatican's plans to take his property should he die without issue-and with sex on the kinky side. As the Duke hires artists to embellish his castle with frescos, the disillusioned Lucrezia becomes fascinated with the frescos-and one young artist in particular. The Duke's growing displeasure with his wife threatens their marriage. Verdict This strong first novel is marked by well-developed, memorable protagonists and a pacing that quickens and builds readers' anxiety as the story progresses. While certain plot elements are predictable, readers will go along for the ride to see where the author takes them. For historical fiction buffs, Kimm's details about Renaissance frescos, so essential to the book's plot, are fascinating. Readers intrigued by all things Italian and those who remember Browning's poem fondly will relish this novel.-Mary Kay Bird-Guilliams, Wichita P.L., KS (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.