I get very, very excited when I discover a novel, so wonderful, so enjoyable, that I include it on my list of lifetime favourites. Set in the 15th century in an ancient abbey, Through an Icon's Eyes by Grace Conte fits that bill exactly!
This is a beautifully written story, so engaging, so engrossing, I could not put it down. One of the main characters is a partially-completed icon of Mary Magdalene who comes alive in the painter's mind acting almost as a conscience for him - guiding, questioning, enlightening. Bit by bit, the story spirals into spectacular events of heresy, murder, lust, and betrayal that culminate into an utterly satisfying, completely shocking ending. Extremely real, three dimensional characters that are ever evolving enchanted me from the very first page. Each page is ripe with wisdom, teases with mystery, and swirls the reader into a hurricane of emotions.
Grace Conti is extremely talented and the beauty of her prose is a joy to read. The author is donating all the proceeds to breast cancer research until Christmas 2011. That in itself makes it worth buying and I encourage everyone to do so. Better yet, the book would make a wonderful gift. Brilliant from start to finish - you must read this book.
Through an Icons Eyes is a beautifully written novel.
It has complex characterization, a fascinating story with a brilliant twist at the end. Just read the opening pages to get your pulse racing. A bit slow in the latter stages of part 1, it opens up in part two and is enthralling.
It's a thriller, a love story - a brilliant piece of work by Ms Conti.
Highly recommended. Bob Olivier, Sydney, Australia
I've just finished reading "Through an Icon's Eyes".
It is a very intelligent book. I found the discourse on religion as it was viewed in the 15th century, while interesting, kept the pace a bit slow at first but it put the story in context and, before I reached the second half of the book, I was captured. The pace quickened and the subject matter became broader and more controversial. The icon content gave the story an unusual twist that kept me wondering where the story would go next and I was reluctant to put the book down until I reached the surprising conclusion.
I was transported by this book to old England, Italy and Greece. I found the writing style appropriate for the era yet easy to read. The little images inserted through out the book were like little pictures added seamlessly. The storey is presented as something of a puzzle with pieces slowly falling into place. I could not put it down. This is a must read book.