I was lucky enough to meet the author at several events and talks at the Oxford Historical Novelist Society. Inspired by his passion I purchased “Marlene” and was very impressed with the author’s take on Marlene Dietrich. I wanted more, although the subjects of his other novels were not as familiar to me.
I was sceptical as to whether I would like them but soon got drawn into the book (I listened to the audible version). Passion and attention to detail have gone into every page, as if the author had lived and breathed Lucrezia’s story for months. Having met him in person, I believe that to be actually possible.
I established an immediate sense of connection with her and her dilemmas. Gortner has a gift for creating an intimate and urgent perspective that draws you deeply into his characters, so much, you forget that this is a historic novel and not the diary of Lucrezia, and that you live in the present time and aren’t living in Rome or the other locations of the novel.
I’ve also realised how much I hadn’t known about the times of Lucrezia, the Vatican and its power, the politics of Europe at the time, court intrigue and out-wittying of opponents. This was quite an emotionally involved and powerful read that made a lasting impression on me. Amazing.
He welcomes readers and is always available for reader group chats. Please visit him atwww.cwgortner.com for more information.