THE WITCH OF NAPOLI

15 May

“WHEN YOU’VE ELIMINATED THE IMPOSSIBLE, WHATEVER REMAINS, HOWEVER IMPROBABLE, MUST BE THE TRUTH.”
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle quoting Sherlock Holmes.

Palladino Books 2015 Soft cover 320 pages excluding the Author’s Note at the End, which you will want to read - Historical fiction

Palladino Books 2015
Soft cover 320 pages excluding the Author’s Note at the End, which you will want to read – Historical fiction

Alessandra Poverelli, The Witch of Naples’ character, is based on the actual real-life medium Eusapia Palladino (1854 – 1918). Signora Palladino is the first intermediary for physical phenomena to be examined by eminent men of science.

We begin at the end …..

“Dateline: Rome, Italy, April 20, 1918-Alessandra Poverelli, the fiery, vulgar, Neapolitan peasant who levitated tables and conjured up spirits of the dead in dimly-lit séance rooms all across Europe, whose psychic powers baffled Science, captivated aristocracy, and enraged the Catholic Church, has joined the Spirit World herself at age 60. Requiescat in pace.”

….. then quietly, we slip into Poverelli’s life.

Tommaso is our narrator, a young photojournalist apprentice for the newspaper Mattino. His first assignment is to cover one of Poverelli’s séances. The photograph Tommaso captures is of a levitating table and the medium herself. The photo is posted on page one of the paper, and when wealthy skeptical Camillo Lombardi sees it, he travels to Naples to investigate.

After the medium materializes Lombardi’s dead mother, he challenges the scientific community of Europe to test her mysterious powers. When one particular detective for England’s Society for the Investigation of Mediums gets wind of Poverelli‘s supernatural abilities, he launches a plot to trap and expose her. This is that story. Tommaso Labella tells us everything.

This was a good book. I liked it.

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