That Summer in Sicily
A Love Story
By Marlena De Blasi
(Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345497666, 336pp.)
Publication Date: May 19, 2009
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
“At villa Donnafugata, long ago is never very far away,” writes bestselling author Marlena de Blasi of the magnificent if somewhat ruined castle in the mountains of Sicily that she stumbles upon one summer while traveling with her husband. There de Blasi is befriended by Tosca, the patroness of the villa, who shares her own unforgettable love story. In a luminous and tantalizing voice, de Blasi re-creates Tosca’s life and romance with the last prince of Sicily descended from the French nobles of Anjou. But when Prince Leo attempts to better the lives of his peasants, his defiance of the local Mafia costs him dearly. The present-day narrative finds Tosca sharing her considerable inherited wealth with a harmonious society composed of many of the women–now widowed–who once worked the prince’s land alongside their husbands. This marvelous epic drama reminds us that in order to live a rich life, one must embrace both life’s sorrow and its beauty.
Marlena de Blasi lives in Italy. She is the author of three memoirs, A Thousand Days in Venice, A Thousand Days in Tuscany, and The Lady in the Palazzo, as well as three books on the foods of Italy.
“An extraordinary tale of passion and love stretching over decades of the twentieth century.”—Booklist
“A marvel . . . a fragrant tale of life and love in the mountains of Sicily.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“This book reads like a suspense novel complete with a surprise ending, and though Tosca’s story is compelling, it’s in de Blasi’s telling of it that the true magic lies.”—Publishers Weekly
“Mesmerizing . . . riveting . . . Brilliantly crafted, the story lingers, thoroughly haunts beyond the final page.”—Providence Journal
“The great Marlena de Blasi writes fairy tales for grown-ups.”—Adriana Trigiani, author of the Big Stone Gap novels
“A taste of old-world Sicily with this story of love among the almond blossoms.”—Christian Science Monitor