Hardback | 262 pages
Published: March 13th, 2012 by Random House
When 16-year-old Laura della Scala learns that her older sister, Beatrice, has drowned, she is given no time to grieve. Instead, Laura's father removes her from the convent where he forcibly sent her years earlier and orders her to marry Beatrice's fiancé, a repulsive old merchant named Vincenzo. Panicked, Laura betrays a powerful man to earn her way into the Segreta, a shadowy society of women who deal in only one currency—secrets. The Segreta seems like the answer to Laura's prayers. The day after she joins their ranks, Vincenzo is publicly humiliated and conveniently exiled. Soon, however, Laura begins to suspect that her sister's death was not a tragic accident but a cold-blooded murder—one that might involve the Segreta and the women she has come to trust.
From the very first sentence, I knew this book would be more than just words on a page. In a lot of ways, it was almost a painting the way the author was able to create such a magical world. A place I had never visited and definitely a time i would never be able to see. Yet, I felt like I was there in Venice along with Laura.
The characters in this book each had a very short part, yet they were all important in their own way and I was able to feel the same emotions Laura felt at the time. (Seriously, Sasha Gould has a way with words!)
There is something about historical fiction that seems so grounding, it shows you how simple life can be yet the characters seem happy (when they're not trying to solve their sisters murder or get out of a marriage to a very creepy, very old man.)
When Laura goes to a dinner to meet her arranged husband, she meets a boy, Vicenzo who she can't seem to forget. He's not rich and now that her father is rapidly losing money, he most definitely wouldn't be allowed in their family. But she learns of the Segreta and through them and her strong will she fights to get what she wants.
There were a lot of twists and events that I wasn't expecting in this book, so it kept me on my toes the entire time.
I loved the scenery, the gorgeous world of Venice, the heartbreak and strength of Laura, the romance of it. Everything.
I can't wait to read more of historical fictions and more from Sasha Gould. If you love historical fiction, mystery, romance, or all of the above. You'll love this one!