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Review: The Silent Madonna

Santa Lucia Book 2 by Michelle Damiani

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The Silent Madonna by Michelle Damiani is a sequel to Santa Lucia, which I absolutely loved. So, I had high hopes for the second book in this series—and the book surpassed my expectations! 

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I loved the magic and light themes in the first book, and The Silent Madonna continues those. It follows most of the characters from the first book, but introduces a couple of intriguing new characters, and wraps together all the crazy, disparate threads into an enormously satisfying whole.

After the disaster that the town experienced at the end of Santa Lucia, the townspeople begin to recover. And they gossip about the impending arrival of an American, the last heir to the castle on the hilltop that has cast its long shadow over the the town. 
The American begins to make drastic changes to the castle, but soon, the town begins to change him too. It's a believable transformation—made possible by the magic and light, but the American's growth both angers his deliciously narcissistic wife and confuses the local woman who captures his heart.
As with the first novel, The Silent Madonna contains multiple interconnected character arcs, and Damiani deftly weaves every thread together in a colorful, buoyant tapestry. There's the pregnant estranged wife. There's a nasty ex-husband. There's a body buried in the backyard. There's even an homage-laden reshaping of Pride and Prejudice. Oh—and the bird attacks! They'd make Hitchcock proud.

I haven't read a book this delightful and satisfying in a long, long time. Highly recommended.