As part of an art restoration project, a group of young, Catholic men & women are travelling to Florence, Italy. Together, they will assist in restoring some art work in the San Marco Convent. Olivia Gianetti is among them. Her entire life has been devoted to God & she plans to fulfill her call as part of the Felician Sisters. Among the seminarians is a young man named Finn. Unbeknownst to either of them, this trip will change their lives forever.
Not long after arriving, Finn & Olivia begin to become attracted to one another. Fearing repercussions, they hide their feelings. Soon, though, they’re madly in love. This whirlwind courtship will have to be delayed for a moment as things at San Marco begin to get interesting.
While the students are looking to the future, a group known as the Piagnoni is focused on the past. Devout Catholics who detest the more modern practices of Catholicism, the Piagnoni are determined to change the futre of the Church. Their plan is simple: assassinate the Pope. Lucky for them, the Pope is planning to visit Florence to greet the art restoration group. Quickly, they devise a way to get one of their members to infiltrate the convent. A plan is set in motion.
What follows will affect all the students in the project as well as the Catholic Church itself. Caught in the middle are the new lovebirds, Finn & Olivia. Can the Piagnoni be stopped or will the Pope lose his life? Can Finn & Olivia sort out their feelings in light of their impending calls to celibacy?
‘The Annunciation’ is a well-rounded read with a little bit for everyone. Despite the romantic angle, it is squeaky clean. Understandably, I’m sure it’s something more than one seminarian has struggled with in their lives. Not everyone is meant to be a nun or priest. They do move incredible fast & talk of marriage in less than a month. It makes you wonder how serious they really were about their calling.
The angle dealing with Church History was certainly fresh & has a Dan Brown feel to it. However, the historical facts were overdone. Not every character needed a complete biography, but received one anyway. It became a daunting task. I know there are many people serving the Church but they could’ve been a bit more irrelevant.
All in all, it’s a very enjoyable novel & I would recommend it with a 4 star rating. I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.