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The Ornatrix - By Kate Howard

By :Kate Howard


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 'Dazzling... a first novel of originality and, yes, beauty' - The Times 'A richly drawn cast of twisted characters... beguiling' Vogue Best Summer Reads 2016 Flavia was born with a birthmark covering her face, in the shape of a bird in flight. A dyer's daughter, she grows up in a little house in the woods, far away from prying eyes. Ashamed of the mark, her mother has concealed Flavia's face behind a veil all her young life. But on the night before her younger sister's wedding, Flavia does something drastic, something that will draw her into a much wider and stranger world than she could have imagined: the convent of Santa Giuliana, just outside the city walls of Perugia.There she meets Ghostanza, a courtesan turned widow, whose white-lead painted face entrances Flavia, and whose beauty and cruelty are unmatched. Flavia becomes her ornatrix, her hairdresser and personal maid. But as white-lead paint rots the flesh below it, so Perugia, and Santa Giuliana, is rotten below the shimmer of wealth and privilege. And Flavia is drawn into a world of desire and jealousy that has devastating consequences. 'Exquisite, earthy, witty - this is a book of rare beauty, about beauty' Wendy Wallace, author of The Painted Bridge. AUTHOR: Kate Howard has lived and worked in Italy for many years, but now lives in Brighton. She works at the University of Sussex and The Ornatrix is her first novel.


Book Information:

Format: Paperback

Published: 2016

Category: Historical Fiction

Pages: 368

Dimensions: 198 x 132mm

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