1933: in a country rocked by corruption trials involving government, big business and the Vatican, people in the idyllic small city of Urbino, Raphael's birthplace, appear more concerned with love affairs than politics, their only worry an outbreak of spurious miracles. Then Count Malaspino returns after years away and his support for the restoration of Raphael's 'La Muta' ('the mute woman') drives a living mute to an act of violence. Does this woman know something terrible about Malaspino's past? Did she witness a literally 'unspeakable' crime that could shatter the peace of Urbino? Both a political thriller and an examination of our miraculous capacity for restoration, WAKING RAPHAEL recreates an Italy where the comic and the tragic, the romantic and the violent, are brilliantly evoked.
Born in Canada, Leslie Forbes has worked in London as a writer, artist and broadcaster for over 20 years. She is the author of four award-winning travel books, including A Table in Tuscany. Her first novel, Bombay Ice was an international bestseller and her second, Fish, Blood & Bone was nominated for the Orange prize.