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Belladonna
     

Belladonna

4.6 18
by Karen Moline
 

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Who is Belladonna?

In New York City, she's known only as the mysterious masked woman who presides over the most exclusive, opulent club of the times.

In Virginia's blue-blood countryside, she's known as the Contessa, the elusive heiress who flaunts convention and shuns human contact.

But then there are a wretched few who remember her from "The

Overview

Who is Belladonna?

In New York City, she's known only as the mysterious masked woman who presides over the most exclusive, opulent club of the times.

In Virginia's blue-blood countryside, she's known as the Contessa, the elusive heiress who flaunts convention and shuns human contact.

But then there are a wretched few who remember her from "The Club" and knew her as a fresh-faced innocent whom they desired...and misled...and left to the sadistic devices of a nobleman who robbed her of her youth, her dignity, and, ultimately her heart.

As Belladonna's story, told by one of her faithful manservants, slowly unfolds, we learn the horrifying truth behind Belladonna's masks and her insatiable desire for vengeance. It is a truth that involves betrayal, murder, depravity -- a truth so chilling that it will pit brother against brother, father against son, and will force Belladonna to ultimately confront the one man who can ultimately either destroy her, or set her free.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In 1935, His Lordship "purchased" 18-year-old Isabella Ariel Nickerson for one 1 million in an auction for members of an exclusive club of rich Britons eager to satisfy their sexual appetites. Isabella's transformation into Belladonna after more than ten years of degradation is fueled by a desire to find and punish the club members, who had always worn masks and used code names. Her quest for revenge is told by Tomasino, who with his twin brother had helped her and her baby daughter escape from this nightmare. Castrated for participating in the Italian Resistance during World War II, the twins were also prisoners of His Lordship. Tomasino's narrative includes flashbacks and excerpts from Belladonna's diaries. Afraid to love, Belladonna almost allows the desire for revenge to corrode her own soul. The horrors revealed make readers eager for her to outsmart His Lordship, but this novel by the author of Lunch (LJ 7/94) is not for the squeamish.Kathy Piehl, Mankato State Univ., MN
Kirkus Reviews
Second-novelist Moline (Lunch, 1994) returns, this time with an S&M wannabe that hovers somewhere between deliciousness and dreck. The notorious femme fatale Belladonna, whoþs always masked and who always travels bookended by her bodyguards, owns the hottest nightclub in 1950s New York. Sheþs set up shop there with an army of security guards, spies, hidden microphones, and enough costumes, wigs, and jewels for a Cecil B. De Mille productionþall in order to ensnare and destroy the "Hellfire Club" of British aristocrats who, in 1935, auctioned her off for a million pounds to a man known only as His Lordship, a British sadist who kept her drugged, tortured, and sexually enslaved for 12 years, and who supposedly stole her infant son. Helped to escape from His Lordship's prison by Thomasina and Matter Canaan, twins from Brooklyn, who were castrated by the Italian Fascists and rescued by His Lordship to do his bidding, Belladonna spends her life plotting revenge. And while she waits, she uses her vast supply of money and power to help other women whoþve also been betrayed by men. In this effort sheþs been aided by a wise and kindly old Italian count, Leandro, who nursed her back to health, married her, died, and left her enough money to "buy the Bank of England." Belladonna's tortured life, as told by her faithful and purportedly witty companion Thomasina, is intercut with sections of Belladonna's memoir of enslavement (printed completely in italics), which any reader who has seen a bad S&M movie can already predict (tight corsets, blindfolds, chains, dungeons, and a lot of unpleasant abuse). Belladonna (formerly Isabella Ariel) eventually confronts His Lordshipand, after exacting her revenge, even learns to love again. Trite and unconvincing. Neither grim enough to compel nor gaudy enough to entertain.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446549271
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
11/16/2008
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
1,124,722
File size:
544 KB

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Belladonna 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
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Royalty13 More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing. I read this book in one weekend. My boyfriend at the time (now husband) , didn't see me at all that weekend. I started Friday after work and Finished it Sunday 3am. It had revenge, suspense, fantacy, everything you could imagine. I was a little disappointed with the ending, but it was still exceptional. I have read this book twice and this Holiday cross country road trip with my husband will be my third. I HIGHLY recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book 5+ years ago and it's still one that I always remember. It was definitely an enthralling read. My only problem was the ending, I can't give it away but I was disappointed in our leading lady.
Guest More than 1 year ago
fantastic, i could not put this book down. it's one of my favorites!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this book so much I read it in one sitting. I could not put it down. The author is able to convey the misery of Belladonna's life a very realistic manner.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one the few books that had me rooting for a character who was out for revenge even if it meant death. When reading the stories of her imprisonment and the abuse and torture, I couldn't help but cry and try to imagine anyone in that situation. I really loved this book and I recommend it to everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I started reading this book and ended up putting it down, about a year later I picked it back up and forced myself to read more. The book completely engulfed me! I spent all my spare time reading it, my teachers even yelled at me for it. The book may have a slow start but the rest of it makes up for it. I would recommend that everyone read this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
That book was so amazing. I was out with my boyfrined and he desperately wanted to buy me something so I just picked up that book and told him to buy it and I am so glad I did! It was a little slow to start but I just couldn't put it down once I started. I was up at all hours of the night reading and wondering what she would do next. It was great!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book takes a hold of you and doesn't let go! Although it was written by a female, about a female's revenge on the men who enslaved her, it speaks from a male character's perspective. I have never read anything like it. Highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story is breathtaking. It's horrible that even a fictional charictar must live such a life but at the same time a hot page turner. It borders on reality and fiction, for example not many women get sold an slave aucions, but they do get raped and hurt in many ways. This story truly brings tears to your eyes. I gave all the books i've read already to the library,but this is one I will never give away.
Guest More than 1 year ago
WOW WOW WOW WHAT MORE CAN I SAY THIS IS SO GOOD- YOU WILL NOT PUT IT DOWN
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first sign I was going to completely enjoy this book was the fact that it doesn't take forever to get you hooked. Within the first chapter or two, I couldn't have stopped reading if I had tried (but with a book this good, why would you?). Almost immediately, the reader is taken away to relive the gruesome events that mold an innocent girl into the slave of first a sick aristocrat, and even later, of her own psychological demons. The narration is so effective that you can feel the rage emanating from each page, the pain locked away behind the masks the characters wear. The way it is told makes it a true page-turner because so many of the delicious secrets are hidden away behind other chapters. Belladonna and her small, tight group of confidantes are so centered around their plan for revenge, that when they are on the edge of achieving it, they almost lose sight of what their lives were before they became involved in their own elaborate plots. But, not to worry: the end, preceded by a couple of unexpected twists, leaves the reader with a sense of supreme satisfaction. After reading this, I am truly ruined for other books. I fear all others shall pale in comparison to the experience of reading this novel that left me sad to see a last page.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Would have been 5 stars, but I got so bored in the beginning in Italy with what's his name, Leandro something-or-other blah, blah, blah... I actually slammed it shut, threw it on the shelf and forgot about it, for at least a year. But a few days ago, for lack of anything else to read, I picked up where I left off and HAVE NOT PUT IT DOWN!!!!!!! Dark, disturbing and enthralling.