Choose Positive Living with Sara Troy and her guest Lucy Branch aired from June 16th on.
Inspired by her work in restoring UK’s Antique Bronze Lucy was guided to write a book about Abigail who had powers with metals. Lucy runs with her Husband and brother the family business restoring all those wonderful statues we see in London.
Come hear the story of this statue and of how the book came about, both journeys will inspire you.
A Rarer Gift Than Gold
by Lucy Branch
An enchanting patineur finds herself drawn into a conspiracy of magical realism, unchecked greed and heated passion in this stunning debut about Italy and alchemy.
Abigail Argent stands out. Some people notice that she always wears gloves and shudder when they know why. Those who know her best observe in wonder her remarkable ability in the colouring of metal. On the brink of finishing her chemistry degree, Abigail chances upon a book that reveals a link between her own art and that of her favourite childhood fairytale: the changing of lead into gold. Delighted with her find, and revelling in the news that she has been offered high-profilele restoration job in Venice, Abigail is finally on the cusp of adventure, free to explore the world and all its riches. But Abigail’s specialist talents do not go unnoticed. A dangerous and powerful organisation are watching her closely, convinced that she alone holds the key to an ancient alchemist’s secret.
Through her work in Venice, Abigail’s skills attract the attention of a notable sculptor who entices her to work for him in Florence. Drawn like a magnet to this iconic city of culture, Abigail continues to uncover more about the history of alchemy and develop her artistry while making new friends. Vibrant model Therese and handsome new lover David breathe new life into Abigail’s once sheltered heart. As the weeks pass, Therese, David and Abigail’s new circle of friends will become inextricably linked to her own destiny, drawn directly into the path of the sinister forces who are stealthily closing in, threatening Abigail’s life. To save herself, Abigail is forced to call upon everything she knows – but what she discovers about herself is much darker than she could ever have expected.
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A Rarer Gift Than Gold is an accomplished first novel, rooted in an authenticity derived from author Lucy Branch’s professional insight. An acclaimed specialist in sculptural and architectural restoration, working on high-profile projects including Nelson’s Column, Cleopatras Needle, Eros, St Paul’s Cathedral, The British Library and Selfridges, Branch brings the mythology of alchemy vividly to life. Abigail’s story is played out against a carefully observed background of Italian culture and architecture, drawing romance and mystery into her passage through the streets of Florence. Branch was inspired by an incident in which she and a close friend were ominously warned of the materials they were studying by a stranger during a research trip to Italy to explore the works of Galileo.
A Rarer Gift Than Gold will captivate fans of Kate Mosse’s Languedoc Trilogy and is set to fascinate, enlighten and leave readers guessing until the very last page.
About the author: Lucy Branch is a director of her family’s firm Antiques Bronze Ltd, one of the UK’s leading conservation and restoration companies. She has a degree in History of Art with Material Studies and a Masters from The Royal College of Art and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Branch is an accredited member of the Institute of Conservation. Lucy lives with her husband and their three children in North London.
The first in The Gold Gift trilogy, A Rarer Gift Than Gold by Lucy Branch (published by Clink Street Publishing RRP £7.99 paperback, RRP £4.99 ebook) is available to buy online now and from retailers including amazon.co.uk and can be ordered from all good bookstores.