AICW, Association of Italian Canadian Writers, Calabria, Italian Canadian Literature, Italian history, Italocanadesi, Rosanna Micelotta Battigelli
La Brigantessa is a novel of historical fiction which takes place following the Unification of Italy (1860’s), during a decade of turmoil. It was a time when law enforcement was often worse than the criminals and the law only protected the wealthy.
The main character, Gabriella Falcone, is a young peasant girl whose family work for the parish priest in a small village in Calabria. Her inamorato, Tonino has volunteered to fight alongside Giuseppe Garibaldi. When Gabriella stabs a nobleman in self defense, she is forced to flee with the priest, knowing that her version of what happened will not be believed. La Brigantessa has everything a great read needs…love, honour, class struggles, jealousy, betrayal, bravery, suspense, and even a ‘modern’ Calabrese Robin Hood.
The story is told from the point of view of many characters, yet they are all so well-developed there is no confusion. Each character is given a detailed, credible backstory, revealing their individual struggles and motivations. I was emotionally invested in these characters, even the nasty ones! The attention to detail regarding life and customs in 19th Century Calabria transported me there.
I have been waiting 2 years for this book to come out, since I listened to the author read excerpts from it at 2 conferences-and it did not disappoint. This is not one of those book reviews that gives away the whole book, so that is all I am going to say! Pour yourself a glass of vino-red, of course, sit back and enjoy. I can’t wait for the sequel and/or movie.
I give La Brigantessa 5 peperoncini out of 5 ! 🌶 🌶🌶🌶🌶
La Brigantessa is published by Inanna Publications, a Canadian Publisher based in Toronto, focusing on women’s writing. The book is available from the publisher or from Amazon or Chapters. Viva la Brigantessa!
Buona lettura, Cristina