"I have never seen an execution" are the opening words of The Trophy Bride's Tale by Cyrilla Barr. The main character Prudenza is beheaded on August 10, 1549. As a young innocent girl, she gets caught up in her father's misled business affair with Matteo Cecchi, and ends up marrying Matteo as part of the bargain.
After years of horrible abuse, Prudenza ends up poisoning him with a potion made from ingredients taken from her herb garden. She is driven to commit murder in order to protect her children. In an insane fit of jealousy, Matteo even smashes Prudenza's treasured lute, a cherished gift from her father.
Her faithful and trusted servant, Gina, is a witness to the cruelty they endure. Fra Tommaso, a priest, whom Prudenza met while in a convent school offers his support during her trial and subsequent execution. Her final words are to him: "Thank you! You have taught me well, Father. You have led me from my bondage and set me free."
Overall, I love the genre of historical fiction and I loved this book.
The Trophy Bride's Tale by Cyrilla Barr is available for $15.00 at Amazon.com and at CyrillaBarrNun.com.
An review copy was provided by Bascom Hill Publishing.