Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Blind Contessa's New Machine by Carey Wallace

Halfway through reading this book, I wasn't sure if I was going to love it or just like it. By the end, I loved it.

Taking place in early 19th century Italy, it's the story of Carolina Fantoni, who discovers she is slowly losing her eyesight. Her parents, nor her fiance believe her. The only person that believes her is her friend Turri, an eccentric local inventor. As she slowly lost her sight, it was heartbreaking, but Carolina showed such courage. Instead of treating herself as an invalid, she learned to live in this new world where she only saw things in her dreams.

Her friend Turri builds a machine to help her to write letters, which she uses to write to him among others. The receiving of the machine turns a friendship into a passionate love affair.

I really liked the ending, which I won't give away. I like endings that leave you wondering – that don't have a definite 'tied up in knot' happy ending. I was left to imagine what happened to all the parties involved. And it's those kind of endings that stick with me the longest.

It's short book, and is a fast read. I really loved this story. It was beautiful, lyrical, and passionate.