Cross My Heart (1585)

Written by: Sasha Gould

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The Story: Basics-

Main Conflict: Who should Laura really trust with her secrets and ultimately her life. Her father does not want her to be with the painter who she is in love with.

Most Important Point: True love trumps all. Follow your heart.

Resolution: The Segreta prove true to their word and help her through everything. The truth is revealed about the painter boy, who turns out to be the Doge's son, and her father allows them to be happily together.

Historical References:

In the first chapter it is revealed through the main character, Laura della Scala, that she is in a convent because she refers to the Abbess and how everyone gets renamed with adjectives. (pages 5-9)

Once out of the convent Laura begins to talk about people who have titles such as the Doge. This shows that historically these people were of financial and political significance.

The reason for her getting out of the convent is because of her sisters death. Without her sister, her father has no one else to marry off for money so she is almost forced to marry an old man for better financial and political status. Arranged marriages in those times were a very common thing.


Details that made the story interesting:

1. The lush and vivid words used to describe everything. The author does a very good job at painting a clear picture using all five senses which makes reading the book feel like you are actually there living it.

2. The secret society's credibility. The characters in the book who told Laura that the Segreta was not something that she should ever be a part of made the story interesting because they had me questioning if those women were actually truthful about how good the society is.

3. Laura finding out that her sister was murdered. Of course this detail sparked my interest because it made me question who or what could have done it or been behind it. I began to question every character and motive.

Significant Quotes:

"'We will keep our promise,' she says, 'but remember yours. You're one of us now. Breathe one word of the Segreta to anyone -- and your life will be forfeit.'" (88)

This quote is important because this is when the story really begins to get interesting. This is the rising action and peaked my interest in the book. I really wanted to see if they were going to keep their promise or not.

"My sister was murdered."

This short quote leads to the investigation of what actually happened the night of her sister, Beatrice's, death. All of this news comes just the night before her wedding. This is why this quote is significant. Spoiler: She does find out and does not marry the old man.

"I'm suddenly cold as the doubts seep through my pores. My painter, with his curls and his soft eyes, is the Doge's firstborn. Giacomo is Roberto. His bones do not lie under the porphyry slab in St. Mark's, for there's flesh on them still. Flesh that I've touched. Breath that has intertwined with my own."

This quote is significant because this is when everything comes together in Laura's mind. Everything we've known is now shaken. The climax has reached its peak when this secret is revealed in the Segreta's meeting.

Personal Review:

When I first started reading the book I wasn't really into it to be honest. Then, I began to dive deeper and deeper into the book to a point where I couldn't put the book down. It took a while for the suspense and thrill to begin, but when it happened it was huge. I felt that I could relate to the main character, Laura, very well. She is put in a predicament and handles it as best as she can. She is shown that you cannot trust everyone, and the people you are told not to trust can usually be the best people to be there for you. She overcomes her sister's murder, a marriage with a creepy old guy, and death. She ultimately falls in love with a guy who is supposed to be a painter, but really is the Doge's son. After some crazy drama between the feuding families, she gets what she's been looking for the whole time, true love.

I would rate this book a 10/10! There is a sequel and I plan on looking for it and reading it as soon as possible.

Sasha Gould

She lived in Venice until she was nine years old. Then later she studied fashion in London. She now lives in the Lake District of England with her cat while she writes about the city she knows and loves, Venice. There is a sequel to Cross my Heart and it is called Heart of Glass.