Two orphaned girls are raised in a special place called the Pieta in Venice run by the church. This orphanage is known for its great choir and Marietta and Elena are both talented singers who enjoy performing at various events in Venice. These two girls form a life-long friendship at their time at the Pieta. The girls at the Pieta are protected from Venice society and are kept away from the seedier side of life in Venice in the 1770s which leaves the young women little prepared for life outside of the protection of the Pieta.
The girls marry men who belong to two families with a centuries old history of feuding and hatred. How will they remain friends even though they are forbidden by their families to associate with one another?
This is a well written book with good character development and a colorful historical background of Venice in the late 18th century.