It is really interesting how books that appear to have no link whatsoever really are connected.
Yesterday I finished reading Master of Verona (which I loved). The story is inspired partially by Dante (the main character is his son Pietro) and partially by Romeo and Juliet so there are lots and lots of references to different parts of Dante's most famous poem, including a lot about the doomed lovers Francesca and Paolo. Now, it is fair to say I had heard of the poet before but couldn't have told you much about it (still can't)!
Last night I started reading The Drowning Tree - and the main character in this book has two dog named Francesca and Paolo....after the characters in Dante's poems!
Bearing in mind that Master of Verona is set in 14th century Italy, and The Drowning Tree is a contemporary novel set in upstate New York, I actually would not have expected to find any connection at all between these two books and yet there is!