Ever since her mother’s death, Allegra Pasquino’s been the joy of her father’s life. And when he’s locked in the dungeons of Castel Sant’Angelo, the fate of the family hinges on whether Allegra can make a group of ancient statues talk.
In 1501 Rome, it’s the beginning of a new era of opulence and opportunity. Art is commissioned and antiquities dug from the earth. The Pasquinos run a successful clothing business and the Vatican is one of their clients, which makes them privileged to all sorts of confessions.
When a statue is unburied at a construction site outside the Pasquino shop, satirical poems and cartoons criticizing the aristocracy, and even the Catholic Church soon appear pinned to it. In Renaissance Rome, this was the only form of free speech.
At 20, Allegra is too old to still be at home. Her father arranges a marriage with the son of one of Milan’s finest tailors, and she must do as she’s told. Then Allegra meets a young man from the Roman Jewish neighborhood of Trastevere. She knows the attraction she feels for him is forbidden.
The posts on the statue draw unwanted attention, and her father is imprisoned. Since the statue is nicknamed Pasquino, everyone assumes the posts come from him, whether he writes them or not. Read more about Query for Allegra (aka Pasquino Won’t Be Silenced) …