The Marriage Portrait
A review of The marriage portrait by Maggie O’Farrell. The marriage portrait is highly acclaimed. It has been shortlisted for the Women’s prize for fiction. As well as this it has been a Reese’s bookclun pick, and instant Sunday times bestseller. Finally The marriage portrait was the Guadian and Lithib book of the year in 2022.
What is the marriage portrait about?
This book is actually based on true life events. Lucrezia de Medici was the daughter of the Duke of Florence born in 1545. When she was 13 she was married to the Duke of Ferrara. He was 24 at the time and was originally due to marry her older sister. Her sister died and Lucrezia was then betrothed in her place. Lucrezia did not move from Florence to Ferrara until she turned 15.
After their marriage, the marriage portrait is commissioned by a well renowned artist. The story Lucrezia through her childhood and later her marriage. The story focuses on the fact that she feels her new husband is trying to kill her.
I really enjoyed the book. I find historical novels really interesting, and enjoyed this being set in Italy rather than the British historical books I usually read or listen to. At times I felt the book was overly descriptive, but this did really help set the scene.
The book does jump about in time frequently, so it can take some concentration at times. I have read other reviews which claim the plot was predictable. I didn’t feel that at all. However, reaching the end of the book I could see the importance of certain parts of the description in the text.
Final words on the marriage portrait
Overall I really enjoyed this book and would definitely read more from this author in the future. Let me know in the comments below if you have read this book and what you thought. Also if you have any future recommendations!