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The Engraver's Secret : The new, gripping and captivating debut art history novel for fans of Jessie Burton, Tracy Chevalier and Maggie O'Farrell - Lisa Medved

The Engraver's Secret

The new, gripping and captivating debut art history novel for fans of Jessie Burton, Tracy Chevalier and Maggie O'Farrell

By: Lisa Medved

Paperback | 3 April 2024

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Two women, a mysterious map, and a family secret spanning hundreds of years ... A stunning art history thriller set around the life, times, and feuds of the artist Peter Paul Rubens.

Innocence and delight, guile and misapprehension, the hint of indifference, even disdain on her pretty features. Fickle, he called her, a mixture of surprise and confidence. She is all that and more, brought to life with the ink strokes of a genius.

Spanish Netherlands, 1620s
: raised by her father Lucas to know her mind, Antonia Vorsterman sees everything that goes on in her world - all the rivalries and jealousies that course through the artists' studios and workshops of Antwerp.

Drawn into the lively household of the artist Peter Paul Rubens, whose work her father engraves for a living, Antonia begins to see a life of colour and possibility for herself - until Lucas entrusts her with a terrible secret that will alter the course of their family's future.

Belgium, present day: haunted by the recent loss of her mother, art historian Charlotte Hubert moves to Antwerp to research her hero, the Baroque master Rubens, and to seek answers about the father she's never met.

But a startling discovery hidden inside an ancient map folio turns Charlotte's quiet academic life into a dangerous hunt for long-lost treasures, missing for 400 years. In the shadowy cloisters of the university, where ambition, obsession and violence run deep, nothing is as it seems.

Charlotte is certain of one thing - no one can be trusted.

Centuries apart, Charlotte's and Antonia's lives intertwine as they unearth long-buried secrets about a master and his engraver where theft, betrayal and the fallout of family loyalty run rampant.

What do you do when the weight of betrayal grows too heavy to bear?

About the Author

Lisa Medved is an Australian author who divides her time between Melbourne and The Hague. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in history and fine art from the University of Melbourne, Lisa went on to work in public relations and event management, honing her writing skills for various corporate publications and several magazines in the UK and the Netherlands. The Engraver's Secret is her first novel, and was born out of a passion for history and art, a curiosity in the life of a little-known Flemish engraver and his relationship with a world-renowned painter, and a desire to explore the secrets that can lie beneath the surface of family dynamics. Lisa is currently working on her second novel, which is set in fin-de-siècle Vienna and post-WWI London around the art of Gustav Klimt.
Industry Reviews
'An inspired blend of history and suspense ... This wonderful debut novel will inhabit your dreams' - Dominic Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos and Return to Valetto

'Art and history collide in this sumptuous novel of dark secrets, family, violence and treachery' - Karen Brooks, bestselling author of The Good Wife of Bath, The Brewer's Tale and The Escapades of Tribulation Johnson

'The Engraver's Secret is an inspired blend of history and suspense, braiding two stories of fathers and daughters and family secrets across time. Lisa Medved conjures Rubens' house and his world so vividly that Antwerp and this wonderful debut novel will inhabit your dreams.' - Dominic Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos and Return to Valetto

'Perfect for fans of dark academia, The Engraver's Secret is a richly woven tale of intrigue, with two very determined women at its heart. A captivating debut that brings the art and history of the Baroque era to life on the page' - Evie Woods, author of the #1 Wall Street Journal and Amazon Kindle bestseller The Lost Bookshop

'Art and history collide in this sumptuous novel of dark secrets, family, violence and treachery. Two extraordinary women, set apart by time, are beholden to a past and the men who shaped it. For the talented Antonia, it's the conflict between the magnificent artist, Peter Paul Rubens, and her frustrated engraver father that tears her life apart. Then, there's Charlotte, the brilliant Rubens' scholar, who stumbles upon a mystery protected for centuries - a mystery that will either augment her career or destroy it. This atmospheric, suspenseful tale, where the streets of seventeenth century and modern Antwerp come alive, is as gorgeously and deftly crafted as a Rubens masterpiece.'- Karen Brooks, bestselling author of The Good Wife of Bath, The Brewer's Tale and The Escapades of Tribulation Johnson

'The Engraver's Secret enthralled me from its first lush sentence. Set in 17th century and modern-day Antwerp, the search to uncover the secrets of Rubens' mysterious engraver transported me into the deliciously ruthless world of art history academia. Medved's knowledge of the architecture, art and culture of Rubens' era is breathtaking in scope and masterfully rendered. I was utterly taken by this stunning debut, a riveting and perfectly paced tale of betrayal, secrets, theft, ambition, danger, and desire.' - Melissa Ashley, bestselling author of The Birdman's Wife, The Bee and the Orange Tree and The Naturalist of Amsterdam

'A beautifully told tale about the strength of familial bonds, and a centuries-old mystery that holds the key to a young woman's future.' - Lauren Chater, bestselling author of The Lace Weaver, Gulliver's Wife, The Winter Dress and The Beauties

'Superb and impressive ... I enjoyed it hugely. Its subject is fascinating and the detail is awe-inspiring' Elizabeth Buchan, bestselling author of Two Women in Rome and The Museum of Broken Promises

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