The Ruby Ring Author:Diane Haeger From critically acclaimed historical novelist Diane Haeger comes The Ruby Ring, an unforgettable story of love, loss, and immortal genius . . . — Rome, 1520. The Eternal City is in mourning. Raphael Sanzio, beloved painter and national hero, has died suddenly at the height of his fame. His body lies in state at the splendid marble Pantheon. At th... more »e nearby convent of Sant' Apollonia, a young woman comes to the Mother Superior, seeking refuge. She is Margherita Luti, a baker's daughter from a humble neighborhood on the Tiber, now an outcast from Roman society, persecuted by powerful enemies within the Vatican. Margherita was Raphael's beloved and appeared as the Madonna in many of his paintings. Theirs was a love for the ages. But now that Raphael is gone, the convent is her only hope of finding an honest and peaceful life.
The Mother Superior agrees to admit Margherita to their order. But first, she must give up the ruby ring she wears on her left hand, the ring she had worn in Raphael's scandalous nude "engagement portrait." The ring has a storied past, and it must be returned to the Church or Margherita will be cast out into the streets. Behind the quiet walls of the convent, Margherita makes her decision . . . and remembers her life with Raphael -and the love and torment- embodied in that one precious jewel.
In The Ruby Ring, Diane Haeger brings to life a love affair so passionate that it remains undimmed by time. Set in the sumptuous world of the Italian Renaissance, it's the story of the clergymen, artists, rakes, and noblemen who made Raphael and Margherita's world the most dynamic and decadent era in European history.« less
This was the second book by Haeger which I read, the first being 'The Secret Wife of George IV', and again I truly enjoyed her writing style.
'The Ruby Ring' is the story of Raphael and Margherita Luti, the model for his Madonna and later his mistress (whom he wanted to marry). I'm quite fond of historical fiction and Haeger's writing is easy for me to lose myself in. I felt like I was transported back to Italy in the days of Pope Leo X. I cried at the end - as I do at love stories. While I realise that this is fiction the relationship between Margherita and Raphael pulled at my heart.
Interesting story of Raphel (the painter) and his mistress. I knew nothing of the time period nor the artist's history so it was quite enlightening. First chapter tells you the outcome so if you know the history it will not spoil the way the story is developed.
Sorry... could just not get into it. Usually love historical fiction. Maybe I should have held onto it to try again, but I gave it a good shot - over half the book - and just wanted to move on. Nothing negative to say, just didn't grab me.