From the author of the Inspector Montalbano series comes the remarkable account of an exceptional woman who rises to power in 17th century Sicily and brings about sweeping changes that threaten the iron-fisted patriarchy, before being cast out in a coup after only 27 days.
Sicily, April 16 1677. From his deathbed, Charles III's viceroy, Anielo de Guzmán y Carafa, marquis of Castle Rodrigo, names his wife, Doña Eleonora, as his successor. Eleonora de Moura is a highly intelligent and capable woman who immediately applies her political acumen to heal the scarred soul of Palermo, a city afflicted by poverty, misery, and the frequent uprisings they entail.
The Marquise implements measures that include lowering the price of bread, reducing taxes for large families, re-opening women's care facilities, and establishing stipends for young couples wishing to marry—all measures that were considered seditious by the conservative city fathers and by the Church. The machinations of powerful men soon result in Doña Eleonora, whom the Church sees as a dangerous revolutionary, being recalled to Spain. Her rule lasted 27 days—one cycle of the moon.
Based on a true story, Camilleri's gripping and richly imagined novel tells the story of a woman whose courage and political vision is tested at every step by misogyny and reactionary conservatism.
|Publisher:||Europa Editions, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Andrea Camilleri is widely considered to be one of the greatest living Italian writers. His Montalbano crime series, each installment of which is a bestseller in Italy, is published in America by Penguin Random House. Several books in the series have been New York Times bestsellers. His literary honors include the Nino Martoglio International Book Award. Born in Sicily, Camilleri currently lives in Rome.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a highly entertaining history novel by Andrea Camilleri. The author never disappoints me with his storytelling ability. Based on tiny bit of information he could find on the protagonist, dona Eleonora di Mora, the author uses his vivid imagination to "reconstruct" the 27 days, a moon cycle, of her impressive, though short, ruling of Sicily. Her courage, acute political sense, and decisiveness helped to restore justice for the people she cared about. The pace of the book is quick with moments of excitement. The last chapter, when the protagonist is summoned back to Spain by the king, actually did move me to tears. Such a wonderful work, very well written by one of my favorite authors. Who could have thought a mystery writer could write history novel, if not better, as enjoyable. There isn't any mystery at all, just a plain chronology of how the protagonist came to power, her ways to catch the culprits, and few measures she did for the peasants/people of Sicily. As plain as the plot does sound, but there are moments of danger and adventures that would grip the hearts of the readers. The book is written in the familiar style as that we're accustomed to his highly notable Inspector Montalbano series with the excellent translation by Stephen Sartarelli. Such a great read. Highly recommend!