Lucrezia di Cosimo de Medici was born in Florence to Italian nobility in 1545. When she was fifteen she married an Italian duke, a man she had only seen once when he was engaged to her late sister. Lucrezia was a bright, stubborn, talented girl who was an expert at making herself almost invisible and listening in on conversations. After being married for almost a year and not producing an heir, her husband takes Lucrezia to a remote fortress-like country estate where she believes he will murder her.
This is an interesting well-written book of historical fiction, but not O’Farrell’s best work,. I found The Marriage Portrait overly descriptive, sacrificing plot for ornate, unnecessary details. Also, it is a novel that jumps around in time and settings and can get a bit confusing.