'An eye for telling detail . . . chilling realism . . . Powerful novel of Italy's resistance during the Second World War.' - BookLife's review

'Simultaneously painful and inspiring, it is a love story, a tragedy, a coming-of-age story, a tale of heroes that tugs at your heart and grips your hand; it’s a journey of cultural liberation.'

'Bristow exhibits a compassionate comprehension of the human experience, depicting both the positive and negative aspects of human nature. Bristow’s extensive research on this historical period is quite evident and it certainly shines through in the crystalline prose.’

Saving Madonna

Is a painting worth dying for?

An unforgettable story of love, courage and sacrifice to save a country's cultural heritage.

My debut novel, Saving Madonna, is based on real events in the winter of 1943 in Italy. As the Allies bomb Milan, Elena Marchetti reluctantly gives up her coveted job as an art curator in the city to return to her family farm near Urbino. She takes up a new role assisting Pasquale Rotondi, the Superintendent of Arts in the region, in protecting works of art from all over Italy that have been hidden in the relative safety of the countryside. 

At a family celebration, Elena reunites with Luca, a close childhood friend. A shattering event instigated by the occupying Germans deepens their relationship, and they start planning a life together.

When rumors surface that Italy’s art is being stolen by the German occupiers, Pasquale hatches an audacious plan to rescue the priceless paintings in his possession. Elena and Luca are forced to make an impossible decision: will they embark on a dangerous mission to save Italy’s cultural heritage?

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