Hold Up the Head of Holofernes is a riveting story of three women who experienced similar horrific assaults on their bodies, and one who wants to help victims like them through legislative means. Taking place in three different eras, each of the women taps into her power to heal herself through her own ingenuity and creativity.
Historical figure Renaissance artist Artemisia Gentileschi, lived in the 1600s in Rome. Her paintings of women displayed their power and strength instead of their soft qualities, so often portrayed by her contemporary male artists. Luisa, an aspiring photographer, lived in Rome during World War II, a time when Italy was occupied by the Nazis. We read about her harrowing experiences as a courier for the Resistance. Finally, Maddie, a community college art history teacher and neophyte state representative candidate from modern-day Providence, Rhode Island, in meeting victim Alice, determines to pass helpful legislation not only for Alice, but for all women in her state, while getting a rare insider’s view of Providence politics.
Presented with historical accuracy, this compelling novel captures women’s place in society, spanning four centuries. “Has there been any change?” is the question each reader must ask.