The Blind Contessa’s New Machine
By Carey Wallace
Pamela Dorman Books, 2010. 207 pages. Historical Fiction
Set in Italy around the turn of the century, this novel is less historical fiction and more an imaginative and dreamy account of Contessa Carolina Fantoni’s life as she gets married to the ultimate catch, Pietro, and slowly loses her eye sight. Like her parent’s, Pietro doesn’t take her seriously when she tries to tell them about the creeping blindness. It is only Turri, an eccentric male neighbor, who believes her. Carolina takes comfort in Turri’s kindness and they continue to meet near the lake she has always loved. When Turri invents a typing machine that enables her to write again, it sparks an affair that could have dangerous consequences for both of them.
This book led me in an entirely different direction than I expected. That being said, I was happy with the placed I ended up. Wallace is a first time author and it was noticeable in a few places. However, I look forward to reading more by this author in the future.