The Virgin Knows

Overview

Alicia lives in Italy in self-proclaimed penance for the sins of her twin, Carlo. When her brother moves to America to seek his fortune, she maintains a spiritual link with him, which eventually leads her to Boston's North End. There, she is swept into a bungled plot to restore stolen art fragments to the Vatican. Her adventures bring Alicia face-to-face with the Mafia-like Benevolents, American freedom, and the very soul of her own lost dreams. Magic realism, earthy faith, and sly comedy combine to make Alicia ...
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1995 Hardcover First Edition; First Printing New in New dust jacket 0312132034. Book and DJ are New, first edition, first printing, In Mylar Wrap, S-103, ; 8.30 X 5.50 X 1.10 ... inches; 309 pages. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Alicia lives in Italy in self-proclaimed penance for the sins of her twin, Carlo. When her brother moves to America to seek his fortune, she maintains a spiritual link with him, which eventually leads her to Boston's North End. There, she is swept into a bungled plot to restore stolen art fragments to the Vatican. Her adventures bring Alicia face-to-face with the Mafia-like Benevolents, American freedom, and the very soul of her own lost dreams. Magic realism, earthy faith, and sly comedy combine to make Alicia one of fiction's most enchanting heroines since Tita of Like Water for Chocolate.
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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: 9780312132033
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/1995
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 309
  • Product dimensions: 5.85 (w) x 8.53 (h) x 1.18 (d)

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