Summary and book reviews of Waking Raphael by Leslie Forbes

Waking Raphael

By Leslie Forbes

Waking Raphael
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  • Hardcover: Jun 2004,
    430 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2005,
    448 pages.

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Book Summary



La Muta, "the mute woman." Amidst a country rocked by scandal and corruption, inhabitants of the idyllic city of Urbino, Italy, birthplace of Raphael, are more concerned with a sudden outbreak of miracles than with politics. But what unspeakable secret lies hidden in Raphael's enigmatic painting? Its restoration will drive a living mute to a shocking act of violence and spark an investigation into a nearly forgotten war crime and a series of events that will shatter the silence gripping this community forever.


Both a mesmerizing thriller and a passionate exploration of the power of truth to effect reconciliation and restore faith, Waking Raphael spins a tantalizing web of silence and lies to recreate an Italy where the romantic and the violent, the comic and the tragic, are spellbindingly interwoven.

MIRACLE NUMBER 1

A Galilean Transformation

‘You see how he glances furtively over one shoulder, as if . . . as if he were escaping from the scene of a crime.’ It was Charlotte’s first rehearsal to camera, and the unforgiving television lights revealed her to be more nervous than the young man in the portrait she was describing. ‘But is he the perpetrator of the crime or just a witness?’ she went on. ‘I believe the artist wants us to ask such questions, feel ourselves part of the plot. The picture, you see, represents a window into another space and time–in this case the fifteenth century. Everything in the painting is designed to reinforce the fiction that this young man, with one hand apparently on the picture frame, is about to vault from his world into ours.’

‘To me he looks like Paolo,’ said Donna. ‘The same sexy mouth.’
Ignoring the girl, Charlotte continued, ‘Another example ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Kirkus Reviews

Forbes uses the conventions of the romance and the thriller, transforming and discarding them at will, to illuminate the mysterious connections between past and present and bring a pair of ardent and uncommonly appealing heroines to life.

Booklist - Misha Stone

Numerous digressions on such matters as the mechanics of hoax miracles and Italian cuisine add flavor and depth to the novel but also diminish the suspense. A good choice for fans of Arturo Perez-Reverte and Iain Pears or for the Italy-bound.

Library Journal - Christine Perkins

The Da Vinci Code meets Captain Corelli's Mandolin in this top-notch literary thriller.....With touches of magic realism, Forbes (Bombay Ice; Fish, Blood and Bone) adds mystery to a novel that combines art, Catholicism, government corruption, political history, and a dash of romance. Vivid scenery and richly detailed characters add depth. Highly recommended.

Publishers Weekly

Starred review. The characters are richly drawn, from the suave count to the pig farmer. Entranced readers will find the secrets of San Rocco uncovered, layer by layer, not unlike Charlotte's painstaking restoration of Raphael's painting. There's more than a touch of magic realism involved, interwoven with fascinating facts about history, religion, painting, miracles and more. This novel will captivate and delight.

Reader Reviews
Andre

confused?
if you read this book you will be confused and bored. No thriller at all. More like a phonebook.

Erica Minchella

Waking Raphael
This book was a terrible disappointment. All that I had read about the book indicated that it would be a fascinating, complex, if not thrilling, story. Instead it was a great deal of allusion, innuendo and foreshadowing, leading to a climax that was ...   Read More

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