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The Miracles of Prato

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  451 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews

"Like Fra Filippo's paintings, this love story, set in one of the most intriguing historical periods, is suffused with clear, warm color and fine attention to detail."

-Debra Dean, author of The Madonnas of Leningrad

A vibrant and enthralling historical novel about art and passion, The Miracles of Prato by Laurie Albanese and Laura Morowitz brings Italy in the era of the Med

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published January 27th 2009 by William Morrow (first published January 6th 2009)
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260th out of 535 books — 865 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Karen Patricia
Oct 04, 2008 Karen Patricia rated it really liked it
This is a book that, once started, you will not want to put down. It's a novel that is not only read but seen. I found it to be visually rich. The reader really feels that they are "there". I don't want to give much away. it is simplistic to say that this is a story of monk/painter Filippo Lippi and the beautiful novitiate Lucrezia Buti, (his model, lover, wife) and their romance. This book is a tapestry of prose and poetry. An ode to an artist and to a time which you will step into and not want ...more
Jan 08, 2009 Sharon rated it really liked it
Art historians Laurie Albanese and Laura Morowitz have combined forces to create an entertaining and gripping look into the world of the Italian Renaissance through the story of Fra Fillippo Lippi and Lucrezia Buti. The former was a famous artist and the latter was the Carmelite novitiate who became his muse.

Lippi and Buti are historic persons, as are many of the characters who pepper the pages of this novel -- from nuns to nobility. The authors present a world in which the church controls the
Feb 25, 2009 Sandie rated it liked it

In this historical romance novel we are transported to 15th century Italy where we are privy to a “behind the scenes look” at the authors’ vision of the forbidden love between a monk/artist Fra Filippo Lippi and his inspirational muse, a nun named Lucrezia Buti.

Fra Lippi becomes captivated by the beautiful Lucrezia and uses her visage as his inspiration in creating the many magnificent Madonna’s he produces for the de’ Medici family and the Catholic Church. Lippi approaches his religious art fr
Jan 08, 2009 Monica rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely beautifully written book of historical fiction. The authors provide the most vivid and realistic details of the 1400's in Prato. The intrigue of a forbidden love is infectious. I read this is two seatings- I could not put it down!
May 24, 2009 Christine rated it it was amazing
Drawn from the world of Renaissance Italy, this historical fiction captures the lives and romance of painter Fra Filippo Lippi and his muse, Lucrezia Buti. This is no ordinary relationship, however, Fra Lippi is a Carmelite monk and Lucrezia is a noviate living in the Convent of Santa Margherita in Prato, Italy, where Fra Filippo serves as chaplain when he can tear himself away from his paints.

Perfectly captured by authors Albanese and Morowitz (an art historian) are the struggles of the times:
Feb 06, 2009 TK rated it really liked it
Already a fan of Laurie Albanese's other novel (LYNELLE BY THE SEA) and her memoir in verse (BLUE SUBURBIA) I couldn't wait to read THE MIRACLES OF PRATO. It did not disappoint. Less literary than her other works, MIRACLES tells the artful, passionate love story of a priest and a nun in Renaissance Italy--based on a true story. I loved the period details, the art history (meticulously researched), and the way the two lovers struggled to reconcile their love for each other with their love for the ...more
Feb 20, 2009 Becky rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book very much. I probably would not have read it but someone recommended it to me & I am glad they did.

It was a love story/historical fiction but not a romance novel....I loved reading about the artwork that the painter was doing. (Now I have some research to do)
There seemed to be a need for lots of personal gain & recognition & because of this & some other deceit, innocent people were hurt....
Oct 29, 2009 Allie rated it really liked it
Being that Dr. Laura Morowitz is the reason I found my own love for art history, I could not wait to read this book. I was not disappointed. I have always been a fan of historical fiction and am not one to chastise authors for taking license with material inspired by actual events. After all, I read books for the enjoyment of story and language, not to get my history lessons. This book painted a beautiful picture of its setting and characters. The romance was realistic for the true ...more
May 04, 2009 Beth rated it it was amazing
This novel combines all of my favorite subjects: art, women in history, romance, excellent characterization, beautifully written prose, captivating story line. Highly recommended especially to those interested in these subjects or just a really goodread!
Jan 11, 2010 Brisbride13 rated it really liked it
What a terrific book. It's based on true characters, which I didnt know while reading it. Its about a novitiate and a monk who fall in love and not the kind of falling in love like most novels, but the kind of love you'd imagine for these two people. A must read!!!!
Mar 09, 2010 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The year is 1456.

With the sudden passing of her father, Lucrezia has been sent to the Convent Santa Margherita. She is trying to adjust to her new life. It isn’t easy. She wants to obey.

Fra Filippo Lippi is a monk but besides that, he has a very great talent as a famed painter. He is acting Chaplain for the convent. Fra is pretty rough around the edges. It is while at the convent that he meets the lovely and beautiful, Lucrezia. She becomes Fra’s muse. She has inspired him to create some of hi
I was very fortunate to receive this book from the First Reads program. I am a lover of historical fiction but mainly stick to English "history". I may have missed out on the chance to read a good book if I hadn't received this copy.
This is the love story of a painter and his muse. After losing her father and her future, Lucrezia and her sister Spinetta take refuge at an Italian convent. Lucrezia soon begins a passionate and unlikely involvement with the convent chaplain, a painter with a quest
Mar 27, 2010 Barbara rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I was excited about winning this book through First Reads. It is recommended for people who enjoyed Girl in Hyacinth Blue, which I loved. I saw the book in a book store recently and almost purchased it. It was an interesting approach written by two authors, Laurie Albanese who is a novelist and her friend, Laura Morowitz who is an art historian. It is a unique collaboration about a painter, Fra Filippo Lippi and his muse, Lucrezia. Not wanting to provide any spoilers, it's historically acurate a ...more
Louise Leetch
These two authors may be very good art historians, but they're lousy at research. Throughout the book they refer to Lucrezia as the novitiate. Anyone with a dictionary can find out that a novice is a woman preparing to take vows and a novitiate is a place and/or a period during which she does that. The authors actually use the correct term on page 95, can't understand why only there. It certainly undermines the authority of any scholarship this book may purport to have when an incorrect term is ...more
May 31, 2010 Heather rated it really liked it
When the beautiful Lucrezia Buti and her sister Spinetta arrive on the doorstep of the Convent Santa Margherita, they are admitted with open arms and ushered into the simplicity of cloistered life. But for Lucrezia this new life is one of sadness, for until her father's unexpected death, she had been expecting to marry a handsome merchant and live her life as a wife and mother. As Lucrezia comes to fully understand the sacrifices demanded of her, she meets the monk and painter Fra Filippo Lippi. ...more
Apr 10, 2010 Becky rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 28, 2010 drey rated it really liked it
I will confess right up front that the cover here probably wouldn't have prompted me to pick up the book. And that would've been my loss, because then I would've missed out on this lovely book.

The Miracles of Prato opens with a birthing that is followed quickly by the baby's removal from his mother's side. From that heart-wrenching scene, we go back to the beginning of the story of two unlikely lovers--a Carmelite monk and a novitiate.

It is 1456. Fra Filippo Lippi is a Carmelite monk known for h
Aug 27, 2010 Staci rated it really liked it
Recommended to Staci by: TLC Book Tour
Shelves: tlc-tour, 2010-reads
My Thoughts:

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres of all time and little did I know when I agreed to read this book for TLC that I would also become a fan of the Renaissance period too! This collaboration between Albanese and Morowitz worked beautifully. They captured my attention and imagination from the very beginning line. I was absolutely enthralled with this story as I felt that the characters came to life before my very eyes. My heart always aches when I read stories where the wo
Aug 24, 2010 Carey rated it really liked it
Prato, Italy 1456. Twenty year old Lucrezia Buti arrives at the Convent Santa Margherita, along with her younger sister, Spinetta. The sisters lives have completely changed since the death of their father, a successful cloth merchant. They find themselves suddenly destitute, with no choice but to enter the convent. For Spinetta, who was always promised to the church, the transition is not difficult. But this is not the case for her beautiful sister. Lucrezia's future husband had been selected, s ...more
Aug 30, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From My Book Review Blog (4.5 Stars) To read the full review: Rundpinne .

"The prose takes on an artistic flair as the words, feeling, and thoughts flow across the pages and blend together in a near perfect harmony. The Miracles of Prato captures the reader from the prologue and has the reader hooked by the time the Buti sisters Spinetta and Lucrezia arrive at the Convent Santa Margherita upon the death of their father. The story is told in stunning and rich detail, the characters are finely cra
Lee Barkley
Jul 14, 2011 Lee Barkley rated it really liked it
Italian Renaissance period, art history, historical fiction: what else can I ask for? Beautifully written, full of rich details and engrossing characters, I was drawn in from the first page. Good read.
Nov 27, 2011 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-reads
Laurie Albanese's historical romance, The Miracles of Prato is a heartbreaking look at the fate of a young woman in Renaissance Italty who after being forced into a nunnery, falls in love with a monk, namely, the famous Italian painter, Fra Filippo Lippi.

As historical novels go, this is one of the best I've read. Not only does the book seem to be thoroughly researched, it also captures the mentality of the times. The treatment of women, the role of the Catholic church, and the infighting among I
Cynthia Mcarthur
Nov 18, 2011 Cynthia Mcarthur rated it really liked it
This is the story of Italian Renaissance painter/monk Fillipo Lippi and his muse, novitiate Lucrezia Buti. Lucrezia is young and beautiful when she and her sister are forced into the convent after her merchant father's untimely death. She is sad and just cannot seem to resign herself to her fate. Fra Fillipo Lippi is not only the most brilliant painter in Italy, but also a monk and the chaplain of Lucrezia's convent. When the painter sees Lucrezia's angelic face for the first time, he knows he m ...more
Dec 26, 2011 C.W. rated it really liked it
The Renaissance is famous for its contributions to the artistic world, and of the many artists who populate its annals few are as controversial as Fra Filippo Lippi, the Carmelite monk whose glorious paintings rivaled his reputation as a womanizer and whose frequent inability to complete his commissions on time enraged his patrons. Perhaps one of the most scandalous events attached to Lippi's reputation, however, is his liaison with Lucrezia Buti, an impoverished young woman who joined the conve ...more
Apr 03, 2012 Danni rated it really liked it
The thing that piqued my interest immediately was the fact that this is historical fiction based on one of my favorite renaissance painters Fra Fillipo Lippi, a monk with a sordid reputation. I'm a sucker for history, for beautiful art and the renaissance and this novel delivered exactly what I was hoping for.

It's a fabulous blend of historical fact and modern fiction that chronicles a few years in the lives of the painter/monk Fra Fillipo and Lucrezia, a novitiate at the Santa Margherita Conven
Craig Masten
Jul 19, 2016 Craig Masten rated it liked it
Uncomfortable read for a long time. Predictable damsel in distress with the unfortunately usual unsavory things happening to her. This woman's predicament set in a detailed and presumably authentic historical background of medieval Tuscany and the life of famous artist Fllippo Lippi. The plot consists of the reader waiting chapter after chapter for the unhappy events to unfold as life in those times is portrayed
Also I have an aversion to liberal sprinkling of foreign words and phrases--in this
Sep 10, 2016 Brenda rated it really liked it
Fra Filippo Lippi proclaimed that "God made the world beautiful, and there is no shame in celebrating that beauty. The world is simply a mirror of the Lord's kingdom." It is these words that Lippi uses to embolden a young novitiate, Lucrezia, as she drudges through daily tasks in the garden and infirmary, work to which her noble hands and mind are not accustomed. If one researches Lippi's paintings, it's easily evident the inspiration her melancholy had on his drawings. She's really quite a love ...more
Jul 25, 2016 Annette rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Set during the year of 1456 of the Italian Renaissance and based on true characters. Story of beautiful Lucrezia Buti, daughter of silk merchant of Florence. She arrives with her sister at the Convent Santa Margherita in Prato due to diminished circumstances. At the same convent, a monk, who acts as chaplain to the nuns, is also a great artist named Fra Filippo Lippi, famed for his portraits of Madonnas. He keeps searching for “a face worthy of the Virgin.” One morning as he enters the chapel, h ...more
Christine Zibas
Feb 07, 2016 Christine Zibas rated it it was amazing
Drawn from the world of Renaissance Italy, “The Miracles of Prato” is historical fiction that captures the lives and romance of painter Fra Filippo Lippi and his muse, Lucrezia Buti. This is no ordinary relationship, however, because Fra Lippi is a Carmelite monk and Lucrezia is a noviate living in the Convent of Santa Margherita in Prato, Italy, where Fra Filippo serves as chaplain when he can tear himself away from his paints.

Perfectly captured by authors Albanese and Morowitz (an art historia
Christa Sigman
Sep 17, 2016 Christa Sigman rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
If you are a fan of Jennifer Chavriani check out this book. I love reading about this time period, art and the influence of the church. This was a page Turner
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Laurie (Lico) Albanese is the author of THE MIRACLES OF PRATO, co-written with Laura Morowitz.

You can follow her year-long walking adventures on her blog
More about Laurie Lico Albanese...

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