Stone Virgin by Barry Unsworth
Passionate, erotic and haunting, this is a brilliant novel by one of Britain's most important novelists. Simon Rakes - a conservation expert - is restoring the Stone Virgin, a statue that cost the life of its creator in the 14th century. The statue is of great beauty but its past is soaked with a history of violence, sexual passion and human greed. As Simon's work continues and he meets Chiara, the enigmatic and beautiful wife of another sculptor, the past spills uncontrollably into the present.