Waking Raphael by Leslie Forbes

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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.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Leslie Forbes

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Leslie Forbes is the author of four award-winning travel books and the internationally bestselling novels Bombay Ice, a Sunday Times bestseller, and Fish, Blood, & Bone, which was nominated for the Orange prize. She lives in London.From the Hardcover edition.
Published April 26, 2005 by Bantam. 448 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, History, Arts & Photography. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Although La Muta, who hasn’t spoken for 50 years, misses Count Dado Malaspino, the worldly hotelier widely believed to be her target, her assault on the painting draws miraculously real blood—and a pair of dueling experts intent on debating the miracle.

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The Guardian

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Waking Raphael by Leslie Forbes 320pp, Weidenfeld, £12.99 Charlotte Penton, a middle-aged, emotionally repressed art restorer, arrives in the Italian town of Urbino to work on a faded Raphael painting, La Muta (the mute woman).

Dec 20 2003 | Read Full Review of Waking Raphael

Book Reporter

WAKING RAPHAEL is another worthy addition to the growing genre of history and art history thrillers populating bookshelves these days.

Jun 29 2004 | Read Full Review of Waking Raphael


Cataclysm: The First World War as Political Tragedy David Stevenson (Basic Books · hardcover · $35) In this fat treatise, Stephenson expertly examines the somewhat dubious internal politics that inspired nations to initiate and exacerbate a pointless war that set the stage for the even greater ...

Aug 05 2004 | Read Full Review of Waking Raphael

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