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Homegrown Books: A Splendid Sin

Helen McNeil recommends A Splendid Sin by Alana Bolton Cooke - Cloud Ink Press, 2019

Alana Bolton Cooke worked as a Registered Nurse in New Zealand and England. After marrying she moved to Christchurch where she completed a BA Honours and an MA in English Literature. She completed a Master of Creative Writing at the Auckland University of Technology.

A Splendid Sin is her debut novel.


Michelangelo, poet, painter, sculptor, was a genius whose work was considered contentious in his own time. One of his most famous art works, his depiction of scenes from Genesis on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, brought the wrath of the Catholic Church down on him.

In her novel, A Splendid Sin, Alana Bolton Cooke explores the equally contentious and mysterious relationship between Michelangelo and his muse, Tommaso dei Cavalieri. The question of whether they were lovers has never been adequately answered by history.

Impeccably researched, this novel captures the intrigues and nuances of High Renaissance Rome. As a love story and a story of conflict with the powers of the Catholic Church, it rounds out the character of Michelangelo. A great read for lovers of history, particularly art history.

A Splendid Sin is available in paperback from your local bookshop or from the Cloud Ink online shop or as an ebook from Amazon.

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