Eternally Artemisia—some loves, like some women, are timeless by Melissa Muldoon

Review Waking Isabella HERE!
Review The Secret Life of Sofonisba Anguissola HERE!

Synopsis -

For Maddie, an art therapist, who wrestles with the “peculiar feeling” she has lived previous lives and is being called to Italy by voices that have left imprints on her soul, this idea is intriguing. Despite her best efforts, however, proof of this has always eluded her. That is, until one illuminating summer in Italy when Maddie’s previous existences start to bleed through into her current reality. When she is introduced to the Crociani family—a noble clan with ties to the seventeenth-century Medici court that boasts of ancestors with colorful pasts—she finally meets the loves of her life. One is a romantic love, and another is a special kind of passion that only women share, strong amongst those who have suffered greatly yet have triumphed despite it. As Maddie's relationship develops with Artemisia Gentileschi—an artist who in a time when it was unheard of to denounce a man for the crime of rape, did just that—Maddie discovers a kindred spirit and a role model, and just what women are capable of when united together. In a journey that arcs back to biblical days and moves forward in time, Maddie encounters artists, dukes, designers, and movie stars as well as baser and ignoble men. With Artemisia never far from her side, she proves that when we dare to take control of our lives and find the “thing” we are most passionate about, we are limitless and can touch the stars.

Review - 

This is the third book I have read and reviewed by author Melissa Muldoon. All three have been fiction stories inspired by a strong, talented woman who lived in Italy centuries ago.  This one stands as slightly different in the way we experience this historical woman through several lifetimes.  The theme - perhaps we have soul mates, people we are spiritually tied to that we meet again and again in new lives.  

As in other books by this author, it is a woman in the present who introduces us to the past.  I enjoyed this book the most when it moved between the present and that past, where we firmly walk with Maddie in the here and now while experiencing the past through her flashbacks. As the story progresses, there comes a point where the story changes and we stay with Maddie in her flashbacks. We experience a few lives in a row, ending with her in the future in outer space. While the story prepared us for this by a recurring pattern of the characters looking up at the stars and dreaming of visiting the heavens, I still found it a bit jarring. Up to this point, it was a mainly a historical novel.  Then it stepped firmly into SciFi/Fantasy; again justified as this was hinted at several times before, but for some reason I struggled with this ending. 

That said, Eternally Artemisia is a well written, intriguing novel offering yet another amazing Italian woman who defied the social restrictions placed on her by the time she lived in and I enjoyed the recurring lives that were placed in the past very much. 

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Meet the Author -

Read my Feb. 2018 interview on her author's journey HERE!
Check out my new 2021 interview update HERE!

Melissa Muldoon is the author of four novels set in Italy: Dreaming Sophia, Waking Isabella, Eternally Artemisia, and The Secret Life of Sofonisba Anguissola. All four books tell the stories of women and their journeys of self-discovery to find love, uncover hidden truths, and follow their destinies to shape a better future for themselves. Melissa is also the author of the Studentessa Matta website, where she promotes the study of Italian language and culture through her dual-language blog written in Italian and English ( Studentessa Matta means the “crazy linguist” and has grown to include a podcast, Tutti Matti per l’Italiano and the Studentessa Matta, YouTube channel, Facebook page and Instagram feed. Melissa also created Matta Italian Language Immersion Programs, which she co-leads with Italian schools in Italy to learn Italian in Italy. Through her website, she also offers the opportunities to live and study in Italy through Homestay programs. Melissa has a B.A. in fine arts, art history, and European history from Knox College, a liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, as well as a master’s degree in art history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She has also studied painting and art history in Florence. She is an artist, designer, and illustrated the cover art for all four of her books. Melissa is the managing director of Matta Press

Connect with the author: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~Instagram ~ Pinterest ~ Goodreads