The Towers of Tuscany

Written by Carol M. Cram
Review by Janis Pegrum Smith

I began reading The Towers of Tuscany as an indie publication; it has since been picked up by a mainstream publisher, and rightly so. The novel charts the life of Sofia Carelli, the daughter of a fictitious Tuscan painter who has inherited her father’s great talent but not his sex. As a medieval Tuscan woman, her aspirations to be a great fresco painter are futile in a profession where no woman would be tolerated. Her fate is to marry and bear children, to be a good wife – but paint, rather than blood, seems to run within her veins as she risks all for her art.

From the very first page, Carol M. Cram captivates with her writing, transporting you to the rolling hills and rich palette of 14th-century Tuscany. You care for the protagonist, Sofia, from the outset and become an ally throughout the perilous pursuit of her beloved art. The twists and turns of the plot, and the fast pace of the writing, make it a book that is very hard to put down. I cannot praise this novel highly enough. It is a story that lingers long after you have reluctantly reached the last page. I highly recommend this book as a must-read and wish this debut novelist great success with her career. She is definitely an author to watch and has earned a firm fan who will be buying her next book.