Monday, October 8, 2012

The Contessa’s Vendetta by Mirella Sichirollo Patzer

The era is A.D. 1645, in the city of Vicenza, Italy. The population is rapidly decreasing because of a deadly plague. To protect her family and live-in servants, Contessa Mancini quarantines everyone in her home. Against her better judgment, one day the Contessa decides to take a walk, a decision she regrets for the rest of her life. During her stroll down the street, she comes across a young boy, ill and suffering on the ground. She tries to help, and comes in close contact with him, which results in contracting the disease.

If that is not bad enough, a monk finds the Contessa, and tries to help her, as she did the child.  However, thought to be dead from being in such bad shape, they bury her. The only problem is she is still alive.

Contessa Mancini wakes up, and to her advantage, because of a poorly built coffin, she is able to claw and kick her way out, ending up in her ancestor’s mausoleum. During her efforts to escape the mausoleum, Contessa discovers a secret tunnel used by brigands to hide treasures of gold, silver, and gems worth a fortune.

Once Contessa is free, she learns her husband, Dario, and best friend, Beatrice, are having an affair. Neither grieved for her death, and she becomes aware of how little she meant to both, as a wife and friend. Dario even neglects their young daughter, and proves he isn’t much of a father either.

This is where Contessa Moncini develops her strategy for revenge. She tells no one she is alive while she plans and executes her vendetta against Dario and Beatrice.

Mirella Sichirollo Patzer writes with attention and details to her characters and settings. Patzer creates this period of 17th century history to come alive, arousing my interest.  All her characters bring substance to the story and I appreciate learning about Vicenza, Italy.

My personal concern with, The Contessa’s Vendetta, is that many parts are drawn-out, for example:  Contessa’s thoughts repeated often, prolong the story.

I recommend The Contessa’s Vendetta by Mirella Sichirollo Patzer, to be an entertaining approach to learning history, hence my love for historical novels.

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