The Virgin Knows

Overview

A romp of a book full of love intrigue, sibling rivalry, mistaken identities and clever tricks to get money from stolen religious art. The narrator, Alicia Barzini is a sensitive, Catholic, Italian nurse who uses her extraordinary telepathic power to spy on her twin brother, Carlo in America. Carlo's love life is unconventional, plus he's gotten involved in a dangerous international smuggling scheme. The story twists and turns inside the mind of the narrator, through the back alleys of Boston's North End and on ...
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Overview

A romp of a book full of love intrigue, sibling rivalry, mistaken identities and clever tricks to get money from stolen religious art. The narrator, Alicia Barzini is a sensitive, Catholic, Italian nurse who uses her extraordinary telepathic power to spy on her twin brother, Carlo in America. Carlo's love life is unconventional, plus he's gotten involved in a dangerous international smuggling scheme. The story twists and turns inside the mind of the narrator, through the back alleys of Boston's North End and on to the Vatican coffers and streets of Rome. Ultimately what Alicia, the virgin knows, is that we need each other, our familles and most of all love in order to overcome trouble and cure our lonely hearts.

"...as with García Márquez, the fantastic is commonplace. A knowing look, a charming book."-RICHARD ELMAN

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Loss of innocence, personal and sexual, is the theme of this offbeat, beautifully written first novel, which lurches from ribald farce to paranormal phenomena to a touching portrayal of immigrants oscillating between Americanization and Old World ways. Pious, fat, socially awkward Alicia Barzini, an operating-room nurse gifted with psychic abilities, envies her carefree twin Carlo, who emigrates to Boston's North End at age 17 in 1960, leaving her in Subiaco, Italy, to care for their elderly parents. Alicia clairvoyantly spies on her brother, projecting her senses into his mind so that she can share his experiences. In the late 1970s, after their parents die, Alicia moves to Boston, determined to straighten out Carlo's life. A lonely, unhappy virgin who clings to her religiosity, she views her brother as a sinner and heathen, but is jealous of his success as an entrepreneur and of his love life as the unmarried father of twin girls. When Alicia discovers that a band of Italian-American thieves, abetted by Carlos's office manager, is smuggling religious art back to its native Italy, she sets things right-and loses her virginity-in a wild plot involving kidnapping, murder, an unscrupulous Vatican cardinal and a romance with a fallen priest. Though only fitfully risible as a broad operatic comedy, this magical-realist debut novel is moving and compulsively readable. (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780982638309
  • Publisher: GATE Press
  • Publication date: 4/5/2010
  • Pages: 322
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Christine Palamidessi Moore is author of novels THE THE VIRGIN KNOWS and THE FIDDLE CASE and co-editor of the anthology AMERICAN WOMEN, ITALIAN STYLE. She is past Professor of Writing at Boston University and Senior Editor of the academic journal Italian Americana. Winner of UrbanArt Award for her memoir "Grandmothers" which is engraved on a granite monolith at Jackson Square in Boston. Winner of Barbara Demming Award for Women Writers, i Migliori award, and a Dante Alighieri Fellowship to study in Rome.
Webpage: www.moorechristine.com
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