A Woman’s Maiden Name
A true storyteller is born in this engaging multi-generational family saga.
In the beginning there is Rosa. Born in turn-of-the-century Sicily and raised an orphan in a small village on a mountain. Her name reflects her nature: a flower born from tough thorny wood. Her father and brother are allowed all the freedom she is forbidden. But then she meets Sebastiano Quaranta, a man alone in the world, with no father, mother, or brother. 1925, it is love at first sight. They run away together, marry, and open a tavern, which becomes a central meeting point for the villagers in the four surrounding towns.
Rosa gives birth to the handsome Fernando, then Donato, who will go to the seminary, and finally Selma, with hands as delicate as the embroidery she will master and pass on to her daughters.
“Rosa looked at her daughter, who was meek, like her father, and thought that no, that was not a good trait to inherit. A kind man, who never got angry, was a good thing. But a girl, with those same gifts, was a misfortune.” And indeed, Selma falls in love with Santi Maraviglia, marrying him against her mother’s advice. The real trouble begins when he legally becomes the head of the family, and their cultivated inheritance is taken away.
It will be Selma and Santi’s three daughters who pay the price: Patrizia, the rebellious, Lavinia, as beautiful as Virna Lisi, and Marinella, their father’s favorite, who dreams of studying abroad. They are watched over by the spirit of Sebastiano Quaranta, who visits them in their hardest moments, even when they move to the city from the mountains at Santi’s behest.
An engaging novel with a broad scope, which loops life stories into one another, and weaves the reader into the drama of unforgettable characters.