The Silent Madonna (Book Two of the Santa Lucia Series)

“The Silent Madonna sets the bar unrealistically high for my choice for Book of the Year. “ — Caseful of Clues book reviews

A ruined castle. A town picking up the pieces. And a mysterious stranger who could change everything.

The fire may be out, but smoke lingers in Santa Lucia. Though the townspeople still gather for espresso at the town café and swap recipes at the butcher shop, their iridescent blue sky feels behind a veil. The statue of the Madonna, set in a wall outside the cafe, watches it all in collected silence.

Enter Alessandro, a New Yorker arriving to claim his inheritance—the derelict castle and the charred olive trees that surround it. Rich and handsome, his renovation plans set off a chain reaction of unearthed secrets, explosive relationships, and forbidden romance. Not just for himself, but for all the people who call this village home.

Will the power of the Madonna save Alessandro and the villagers? Or will nothing in Santa Lucia ever be the same?

Michelle Damiani's enchanting, magical novel will steal your heart. The town is alive with music, food, laughter, and turmoil, and you're at the center of it all.

Interweaving love and betrayal, pulse-pounding suspense, lyrical beauty, and even a few familiar threads from Pride and PrejudiceThe Silent Madonna will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Those who loved Michelle Damiani’s Santa Lucia will fall headlong back into the story of a town on the edge of change and the villagers that call it home. Much like an Italian village, newcomers are also welcome to walk the cobblestone streets, as The Silent Madonna can be read as a standalone book.

Praise for The Silent Madonna

A sequel to Santa Lucia—a novel I called "my favorite novel of 2017"—The Silent Madonna continues the themes of magic and light, follows characters old and new, and wraps together all the crazy, disparate threads in an enormously satisfying ending.

After the disaster that the town experienced at the end of Santa Lucia, the townspeople begin to recover. And they eagerly await the arrival of an American, last heir to the castle on the hilltop that has cast its long shadow over the the town. Soon, Santa Lucia begins to transform the American, much to the consternation of his deliciously narcissistic wife—and much to the confusion (and sometimes joy) of the local woman who captures his heart. 

Ah, but it wouldn't be a Damiani novel without multiple interconnected character arcs, and she deftly weaves in everything from an estranged wife's pregnancy to an homage-laden reshaping of Pride and Prejudice. Throw in a nasty ex-husband, a little girl hungry for familial bonds, and bird attacks that would make Hitchcock proud, and it's clear that Damiani has written a book that transcends genre. I haven't read a book this delightful and satisfying in a long, long time.

As much as I enjoyed Santa Lucia, Damiani's outdone herself with The Silent Madonna. I know it's only March, but The Silent Madonnasets the bar unrealistically high for my choice for Book of the Year. Highly recommended—I wish I could award a sixth star.

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