Melissa Muldoon is an artist, graphic designer, and award-winning author of the Studentessa Matta Website, a dual language blog, where she promotes the Italian language and culture. Through the Matta Website, she organizes small group language immersion programs in Italy twice a year, in collaboration with Italian schools as well as private Italian language homestay vacations, with teachers all over Italy.
Waking Isabella follows Melissa’s debut novel Dreaming Sophia, published in 2016. In this new book set in Arezzo, Italy, readers are taken on another art history adventure. Waking Isabella weaves together several loves stories as well as a few mysteries, as Nora, the protagonist begins to resolve the puzzle of a painting, which has been missing for decades of Isabella de’ Medici — the Renaissance princess who was murdered by her husband.
For more information on Melissa Muldoon and her books, visit her website at www.melissamuldoon.com.
Listen to the interview:
Topics of conversation:
- Isabella de Medici
- Research for the book in Arezzo, Italy
- Giostra del Saracino – Annual Jousting Festival held in Arezzo
- Suppression of Artists and Hitler’s Obsession during WWII
- Melissa’s Writing Process
- Her Award Winning Italian Language Blog and Immersion Trips to Italy
- Most Rewarding Experience as an Author
Waking Isabella is a story about uncovering hidden beauty that, over time, has been lost, erased, or suppressed. It also weaves together several love stories as well as a few mysteries. Nora, an assistant researcher, is a catalyst for resolving the puzzle of a painting that has been missing for decades. Set in Arezzo, a small Tuscan town, the plot unfolds against the backdrop of the city’s antique trade and the fanfare and pageantry of its medieval jousting festival. While filming a documentary about Isabella de’ Medici—the Renaissance princess who was murdered by her husband—Nora begins to connect with the lives of two remarkable women from the past. Unraveling the stories of Isabella, the daughter of a fifteenth-century Tuscan duke, and Margherita, a young girl trying to survive the war in Nazi-occupied Italy, Nora begins to question the choices that have shaped her own life up to this point. As she does, hidden beauty is awakened deep inside of her, and she discovers the keys to her creativity and happiness. It is a story of love and deceit, forgeries and masterpieces—all held together by the allure and intrigue of a beautiful Tuscan ghost.