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The Marchesa

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  220 ratings  ·  19 reviews
From the award-winning and internationally acclaimed author of The Almond Picker comes this sumptuous family saga set in nineteenth-century Sicily. Costanza Safamita is the beloved daughter of the Baron Domenico Safamita: Red-haired, gawky, and shy, she is considered an outsider by many on her family's estate. But when her adoring father makes her the sole heir to the Safa ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 24th 2008 by Picador (first published January 1st 1993)
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(showing 1-30 of 432)
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Laura
C'è una frase da qualche parte che dice qualcosa tipo: " la felicità non è altro che un intermezzo tra le infelicità", o qualcosa del genere. Io sinceramente non l'ho mai vista in questo modo, forse perchè sono giovane, forse perchè cerco di essere ottimista.
Ma ci sono storie che ti fanno riflettere. "la zia marchesa" è infatti realmente esistita, ed è una lontana prozia dell'autrice stessa. La sua storia è una storia che lascia il segno, tutta percorsa da passioni fortissime, tormentata, una st
...more
Lisetta
La storia di una famiglia, quella dei Safamita, narrata a pi voci: la voce dei nobili aggrappati con tutte le forze ai loro antichi privilegi; la voce dei bambini sofferenti perch poco amati o amati malamente; le voci del popolo sottomesso, che comincia, in questi anni cruciali a ribellarsi e a lottare affinch vengano riconosciuti i loro diritti.
Cos attraverso lintreccio sapiente dei cunti e i pettegolezzi delle serve e servitori di casa Safamita, dei racconti e dei ricordi di Amalia (la balia
...more
Callie S.
Storia squisitamente femminile, come femminile è la più parte delle voci e delle emozioni che si intrecciano nel dipingere la figura della sfortunata Costanza, figlia dell'amore e all'amore, sino all'ultimo, sacrificata. Corale, amarissimo e intenso nel tratteggiare ogni figura - ed è una commedia-tragedia umana zeppa di personaggi - "La zia marchesa" è il ritratto di una Sicilia ancora sospesa tra fasti borbonici e rinnovamenti unitari, sonnacchiosa matrona dalla straripante bellezza e dalle fe ...more
Emma
This is the second book I’ve read by Simonetta Agnello Hornby and I truly loved it. Although they’re both set in Sicily, The Marchesa is quite different from The Almond Picker, which was the first one I read and also her first novel.

I found the story of The Marchesa really drew me in, I loved her character and the sense of time and place that Hornby creates. By the end I could just not put it down and I think now she is one of my favourite authors.
Phoebe
I really tried to read this book but couldnt get into it at all. Maybe because the author had a tendency to write in passive voice or maybe because none of the characters were sympathetic or maybe because there were two many characters and not enough action to move the story forward. Or probably a combination of all these things. Sorry, book, but I tried.
Claudia Sesto
Porgi amor.......
Ambientato nella Sicilia della fine dell'ottocento-inizi novecento, un periodo molto delicato dove avvenne anche il passaggio dai vari regni all'Italia unita, quindi in pieno risorgimento, ci viene raccontata la storia di una potente e ricca famiglia i Safamita e di una loro figlia Costanza.
Tutto incentrato su questa figura femminile, diversa da tutti gli altri anche nell'aspetto rossa di capelli e bianca come il latte, che in un modo tutto suo riesce a conquistare una propria
...more
Antonietta
Complessivamente molto accurata e documentata anche storicamente, la storia, ispirata ad una nobile siciliana realmente vissuta, riesce a trasmettere un'idea precisa della Sicilia gattopardesca, vissuta tra nobili e contadini poverissimi fino a pochi decenni fa.
L'unico neo, già riscontrato in altri romanzi della Agnello, è che la conclusione non è all'altezza della trama totale, quasi ci fosse molto entusiasmo iniziale nello scrivere, che piano piano va scemando.
Complessivamente comunque un vot
...more
Simona Filice
I discovered Simonetta Agnello Hornby last year and now I know a couple of stuff:
1- she's a great woman
(If you watch one of her interviews you will figure it out in 5 seconds. All you need is youtube - sorry beatles, love is anachronistic stuff.)
2- she's a brilliant writer
(that's the easy one. you are on goodreads, aren't you? ok, find her. Half work is done. Let your instinct do the rest :))
3- she's been living in London since she was 20s but she's never forgotten Her Sicily. Culture, people, l
...more
Pat Eggleton
Simonetta Agnello Hornby is the author of the better-known "The Almond Picker", an entertaining tale of family squabbles and revenge which is not without a hint of sadness.
In "The Marchesa" Agnello Hornby embarks upon another family saga, taking as her main character Costanza Safamita, later the Marchesa Sabbiamena, who really lived: Adored by her supposed father but unloved by her mother, the young Costanza turns to the servants for solace and the story is told through the memories of her one-
...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘Life is like a braid. The first strand is that of duty, ..
.. the second is that of possessions and the third is that of love.
And if a person has three fine, long strands, then the braid is very beautiful and she will live a happy life.’

‘What’s the use of the old sayings if they’re not true?’

Costanza is a skinny, shy young woman with flame-red hair. She is also the adored daughter of Baron Domenico Safamita. Their country estate boasts twenty-five servants, and the days glide by. ‘The bearing o
...more
Kuroko
Mi aspettavo una saga familiare pi avvincente, invece la narrazione un po' troppo focalizzata sulle convenzioni sociali. Mi piace l'idea di aprire ogni capitolo con un detto siciliano, per delle traduzioni non avrebbero fatto male... ...more
Bari
Feb 13, 2008 Bari rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girls -I hate to stereotype, but it makes sense here
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lia
Απο τα βιβλια που λες οτι δεν τελειώνει με τιποτα. Πολλες περιγραφές, πολλα προσωπα καμμιά ιδιαίτερη πλοκή. Απο τα βιβλια που ξεκινάς και στη δεύτερη σελίδα σε πιάνει ο ύπνος.
Rowena
Found this book on the street - beautifully written but so relentlessly depressing. The marchesa is an outcast her whole life, ridiculed for her unusual looks, yet treated with deference simply for her wealth. She makes a poor marriage, and only finds love toward the end of her life. Gorgeous setting (and mouthwatering descriptions of food) but the plot was rather lacking.
Elizabeth
(English title: The Marchesa: A Novel) The fictional life of a noblewoman in 19th-century Sicily. The book is well written, and it kept me reading, but on the whole it was just depressing. Not as good as "The Almond Picker."
Chiara
L'ho lasciato in disparte dopo una trentina di pagine. L'ho trovato pesante nello stile, un po' come un cannolo siciliano. Ci riproverò più avanti, forse.
Susan
Couldn't get into it. I think it might have been the translation to English. It just wasn't readable.
Claudio
Claudio marked it as to-read
Jul 01, 2015
Maria Lacalle
Maria Lacalle marked it as to-read
May 19, 2015
Jente
Jente marked it as to-read
May 16, 2015
Giulia Quaglia
Giulia Quaglia marked it as to-read
May 04, 2015
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Simonetta Agnello Hornby, is an Italian lawyer and writer born in Palermo in 1945, who later acquired British citizenship. She left Sicily at the age of 21 to get married in England. Simonetta Agnello Hornby studied English at Cambridge before returning to her native Sicily to complete a law degree. Armed with a Fullbright grant she moved to America for a year to furthered her studies. She returne ...more
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