This is a beautifully written novel that took me back in time again to early in the twentieth century, to places and a period which are vividly evoked and introduced me to fascinating characters whose lives I was enthralled by.
'And behind every doorway, no matter how humble, were masterpieces, friezes depicting ancient stories, magnificent frescoes, statues, intricate mosaics and richly marbled floors. Every window and balcony overlooked the antiquities, like one's own museum, one's very own art gallery. It felt to me like the centre of the world. And of course it had been, once. Everywhere one looked were relics, history and art, stupendous art. How could one fail to be inspired in such a place? All of it shaped me, who I am, and like those I have loved, it remains here,' she said, placing her palm flat upon her chest. 'It lives within me...that place.' And how could it not? Cecily thought.'