Waking Isabella: Because beauty can't sleep forever

Waking Isabella: Because beauty can't sleep forever

by Melissa Muldoon


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780997634822
Publisher: Studentessa Matta
Publication date: 11/28/2017
Pages: 252
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Melissa Muldoon is the "Studentessa Matta." In Italian, "matta" means "crazy" or "impassioned." She promotes the study of Italian language and culture through the dual-language blog StudentessaMatta.com. Melissa began the "Matta" blog to improve her own language skills and to connect with other language learners. It has since grown to include a podcast, Tutti Matti per Italiano, and the Studentessa Matta YouTube channel. Melissa also created Matta Language Immersion Tours, which she co-leads with Italian partners in Italy. She has a B.A. in fine arts from Knox College, and a master's in art history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She studied painting and art history in Florence.

Dreaming Sophia is Melissa's first novel about Italy and Waking Isabella is her second novel. Both stories weave together historical facts with an imaginative story line, focusing on Italy, the language, art, and culture. It is the desire of the author to introduce her readers to the world of art history and inspire them to learn the Italian language.

When Melissa is not traveling in Italy, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for both her novels. More information is available on the author's website: www.MelissaMuldoon.com

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: A Princess Is Murdered

Chapter 2: Ghost Ships

Chapter 3: Where Life Is Beautiful

Chapter 4: Incense and Regrets

Chapter 5: Backseat Driver

Chapter 6: A Painting to Remember

Chapter 7: Prelude to a Storm

Chapter 8: La Dama Bianca

Chapter 9: The Rules of the Game

Chapter 10: Buongiorno Principessa!

Chapter 11: Sinners and Saints

Chapter 12: Family Business

Chapter 13: Legends

Chapter 14: The Shop Around the Corner

Chapter 15: The Artist Upstairs

Chapter 16: Two Hearts Aligned

Chapter 17: End of Days

Chapter 18: Waking Beauty

Chapter 19: Star of Florence

Chapter 20: Portrait of Love

Chapter 21: Urlo alla Luna

Chapter 22: A Golden Passion

Chapter 23: The Bitter End

Chapter 24: Drunken Confessions

Chapter 25: Exorcising a Ghost

Chapter 26: Prayers to Margherita

Chapter 27: A Princess Is Awakened

Chapter 28: Tutta la Verità

Chapter 29: The Joust

Chapter 30: A Piece of Picasso

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Waking Isabella: Because beauty can't sleep forever 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
wifetoalineman02 More than 1 year ago
Historical, full of passion and adventurous     I enjoyed reading this 2nd book from the author. It is historical. It is fun to learn more about the place Arezzo in the town of Tuscany in Italy. The cultures and traditions back during the days.     It is full of passion despite tragic loss and mysterious. True love can only happened when you really cared for that person. It cannot be learn not unless your heart is beating fast for that person.     This book is very adventurous. My favorite character is Nora. She is one feisty girl who is not afraid to fall in-love at the same time solved the mystery. This book is suspense as well. It is mind blowing especially when they solved the missing painting and surprised came along the way.    It is a beautiful story of friendship, betrayal and most of all love. If you love mystery books like me, definitely you will enjoy reading this historical book. If you love to travel, and Italy is in your bucket list, this book is I can recommend. 
JBronder More than 1 year ago
Leonora, Nora, is suffering from a broken marriage when an old friend invites her to Italy to be part of a documentary on Isabella de’ Medici, a princess murdered by her husband. Nora starts researching Isabella to try to find more information on her death and to try and locate a missing painting of Isabella and her mother that disappeared years before. As Nora starts looking, she meets several people. One of those is Luca, the owner of a family antique business. Luca brings up how his grandmother would smuggle paintings during the Nazi occupation. This starts Nora’s research into these two women’s lives at a point where she is looking to follow her own heart. This is a wonderful story. I loved following along as Nora works her way through her self-esteem issues to recreate herself. To become the person she has always wanted to be. But I also enjoyed the research and history that went into both Isabella’s story and Margherita’s. It was so easy to fall into the history of both eras and hope and pray for the best for all three women. I loved this story that is rich in history and art. You can tell that Melissa Muldoon loves Italy as she describes this world. This is a great story and one that I strongly recommend. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
BookwormforKids More than 1 year ago
Trying to regain footing in life, Nora dives into the history behind a fifteenth-century Tuscan duke's daughter and the mystery surrounding her death as well as a missing painting. Isabella does not have a wonderful marriage, but it isn't so awful that she expects her husband to enter her bedroom and murder her once her father's dead. Hundreds of years later, Nora, a modern woman just leaving a divorce, searches for the answers surrounding what-could-have-been and what-ifs. After reading and studying much of Isabella's strange history, she decides to film a documentary about the woman. In Italy, Nora not only submerges herself in the historical sites surrounding Isabella's past but also digs deeper into the mystery behind a missing painting. Both searches take unexpected turns into deceit, forgery and a touch of paranormal activity. The first chapter starts with the rape and murder of Isabella. It's dramatic, grabs right away and, yet, is tastefully done. When the next chapter switches to modern-day Nora, the tone is set. The author does a great job at weaving the past with the present and dabs here and there in time without ever becoming confusing. The past slips in with Nora's thoughts seamlessly, making it easy as well as a joy to read. Isabella was an easy character to connect to from the very first moment. I enjoyed learning more about her as the story progressed. Nora, however, wasn't quite as easy to relate to. In the first part of the book, the story is presented from her own head with little dialogue, which kept those personality traits, which make a character endearing, a bit at bay. Still, she approached the mystery and her own troubles very naturally and understandably. There is a romance, and it builds slow and steady, slipping perfectly along with the rest of the pacing. But this isn't about action, it's a story which hits on a more personal level and takes the time for the characters to build and the plot to settle in. Italian fans will adore the true-to-life descriptions not only of the architecture and towns, but of the culture and people in all of their subtleties. Even the historical aspects demonstrate well-grounded research and give the book a lovely foundation. Summed up, it's a story that woman fiction and mystery fans who love Italian flair are sure to enjoy. I received a complimentary copy and enjoyed it enough to want to leave my honest thoughts.
Reader_Views More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (1/18) Melissa Muldoon delivers an enchanting story set in Arezzo, Italy about love, intrigue, mystery, traditions, and art in her latest novel, “Waking Isabella.” Leonora (Nora), a young research assistant who is at a crossroads in her life, travels to Italy to film a documentary on 16th Century Italian princess, Isabella de Medici. Fascinated with the history surrounding the princess, Nora hopes to uncover some of the mystery surrounding her tragic death, and a painting of Isabella and her mother that has been missing for decades. There is also the rumor of Isabella’s ghost to consider. While in Italy, Nora reunites with an old friend and meets several new ones. Of particular interest is Gianluca (Luca) Donati, owner of an antique business that has been in his family for generations. When Luca shares details about his ancestor’s participation in smuggling famous artwork out of the country during WWII, Nora’s research takes her down yet another path, exploring the life of Margherita, Luca’s grandmother. Muldoon magically weaves together the lives of Nora, Isabella and Margherita, spanning the course of many centuries, into a story that will mesmerize and haunt readers long after the last page is read. As a big fan of Melissa Muldoon’s since reading her debut novel, “Dreaming Sophia,” I could not wait to dive into “Waking Isabella.” The author has such a unique voice you can feel her personality in every sentence. Her writing is magical, as she incorporates her distinctive style through various methods. She eloquently takes the reader from the past to the present and back again with seamless delivery. She transitions from real-time drama to bits of fantasy through almost dream-like sequences. She delivers historical references and tells of lasting traditions that drive you want to learn more, and exhibits a contemporary voice through her protagonists, all the while weaving bits of Italian into the dialogue. I’ve read books where intermingling languages actually took me out of a story—but not so in “Waking Isabella,” where the words flow harmoniously together, further adding to the author’s individuality and voice. The characters are intriguing, versatile and genuine. At the onset of the story readers are drawn inside Isabella’s character, all at once capturing the essence of her free spirit and strength in light of the heartbreaking end to her short life. Protagonist Nora’s character grows impressively with the story as she pushes through her fears with courage and determination to reinvent herself and follow her dreams. Supporting characters are equally portrayed with authenticity and it is an exciting spin inside their heads. It’s apparent “Waking Isabella” required extensive research, though it certainly feels like a labor of love. Muldoon’s passion for Italy is evident and I really enjoyed the addition of the last few pages of the book where she provides information distinguishing the facts from the fictional parts of the story. I found these tidbits the perfect way to wrap things up, inviting and encouraging the reader to learn more about the historical period, if so driven. All in all, I would say “Waking Isabella” by Melissa Muldoon is a must-read for all fans of Italy, history, romance and intrigue. Eccellente!