A Light Shines in Darkness, Elizabeth Hurst
by Laura Mclellan
Inspired by the life of Blessed Angelina of Marsciano.
Perugia, the Papal States, 1375: Noblewoman Angelina Angioballi has sworn a vow of chastity, to continue serving the poor and avoid a loveless political marriage that is the plight of other women in her life.
When the mercenary Lord of Perugia, Biordo Michelotti, learns of Angelina’s wealth, he means to make her his wife, and when she refuses he seeks vengeance with devastating consequences.
As her charitable mission grows in popularity, Angelina seeks the support of the Church, but even the Holy See is not immune from corruption.
Just how much will Angelina’s faith be tested as she tries to fulfil her true calling?
Elizabeth Hurst’s third novel may well be set in Italy but it was completed after her move from the UK to the P-O’s very own Saint Génis des Fontaines. It’s therefore our pleasure to review the creation of this very talented P-O Life reader.
Although Angelina is a fourteenth-century, pious, Italian noblewoman, the thoughts, feelings and experiences that she has are still relevant in a contemporary, multicultural context.
Dealing with the societal and family pressures on women to marry and bear children, Angelina bravely tries to take her own path.
More suffragette than suffragist, she is fiercely independent but also selfless, kind and loved by all. As she confronts the less-than-scrupulous men who would control her, we as readers feel her frustration.
Far from angry revolutionary, Hurst presents these feminist themes in a very easy read, with plenty of lush descriptions of Italian countryside, gardens and stately homes. Think Downton Abbey meets Romeo and Juliet.
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