Cross My Heart

Written by Sasha Gould
Review by Geoffrey Harfield

Venice, 1585. Confined to a convent for the six years since her mother’s death, 16-year-old Laura lives for her memories of her happy childhood with her sister Beatrice. When she learns that she is suddenly to leave the convent to return home, her joy becomes pain when she hears that her beloved sister’s mysterious death is the reason for her freedom. Laura’s grasping father has decided to wed her to the aging and crass, but very wealthy, merchant Vincenzo. In order to escape this unhappy union, Laura joins a secret society of Venetian women by betraying the secret of the most powerful man in Venice. The pleasure of Vincenzo’s downfall is short-lived for Laura, however, as she comes to realize that the women she has come to trust could be involved in Beatrice’s death, and that the very man she betrayed to enter the society has an even more unbelievable secret she is bound to keep. This story was fast-moving, and every chapter had a new secret, or a new adventure. The characters are believable, and it is interesting to see them change and learn throughout the story. This book would be perfect for a young person who is just beginning an interest in historical fiction.