Historical Fiction: Stone Virgin, by Barry Unsworth

5.0 out of 5 stars The nature of sin

Simon Raikes is restoring an enigmatic stone Madonna that graces the front of a medieval church in Venice. As he prepares his work, he is overtaken by  visions, and he soon becomes obsessed with discovering the history of the unusual, subtly erotic statue. Simon’s own fate becomes inextricably enmeshed with that of the original sculptor, and he finds himself making choices that would previously been abhorrent to him.

Stone Virgin is a complex, proficient morality tale that examines the dark underside of desire, whether it be carnality, pride, ambition, or cupidity. Within these pages, the age old adage that history repeats itself plays out in the lives of individuals, rather than on the world stage. How easy it is to succumb to temptation when one’s  secret heart’s desire is within reach.


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