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The Oracle of Cumae

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3.57  ·  Rating details ·  14 ratings  ·  12 reviews
On the day she turns ninety-nine, Mariuccia Umbellino calls for a priest so that she might finally confess to someone the secrets she has been living with for seventy-five years. When she was a girl, a band of men appeared at her family's farm in the wild Sibylline Mountains with orders from the pope to destroy the nearby shrine of the Oracle of Cumae and to thereby end fo ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by Second Story Press
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Average rating 3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  14 ratings  ·  12 reviews


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Anna Luce
★★★✰✰ 3 stars

“I listened as Sibylla told me for the third or fourth or fifth time, about something that happened to her a thousand years ago and that might have been funny then, but, clearly, you had to have been there.”


The Oracle of Cumae is a humorous tale that might appeal to readers who enjoyed Neil Gaiman's Stardust, Zen Cho's Sorcerer to the Crown series, or even books by Rick Riordan. While I enjoyed how witty and playful the narrative could be I was also aware of the various mistakes punctuating the novel./>
...more
Cait
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I read this book as an advance reader copy. Full disclosure, I work for the publisher.

This book is hilarious. Like laugh out loud funny. The Oracle is the perfect character - major sass, tells it like it is, does what she thinks is best even if it isn't - she's just an amazing character and definitely my favourite.

The book is composed of mostly strong female characters who take charge of their destiny and wrestle it into submission for what they want. It's a funny adventure that lea
...more
Jodi
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mariuccia Umbellino has never had much use for priests, but on her 99th birthday, she has her great-great-nephew bring a priest to her room to hear her confession. But she doesn't want to confess any sins. She wants to tell an amazing story to someone who is obligated to keep a secret.

In the early 1800s, a priest and some men with dynamite were sent to 15-year-old Mariuccia's remote mountain village to close the opening to a cave that was said to contain the ancient Oracle of Cumae.
...more
Natalie
Oct 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: canadian
Passably entertaining story about faith, superstition, family, and finding your own way. Has amusing moments, but didn't quite live up to the promise of the premise for me.
Fazila's Book Review Corner
FBRC REVIEW:

DISCLAIMER : I received an advanced review copy for free from Edelweiss+, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

The Oracle Of Cumae is the story of Mariuccia Umbellino who is a 99yr old woman and her secret. The story is narrated by Mariuccia and we get to see the story through her lens. Its a funny, engaging and intriguing read. I found the story to be quite unique with its stories that come from Italian mythology and folklore. The story is centered around the Oracle
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Morgan
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

What a fun and lighthearted read. On her 99th birthday, Mariuccia Umbellino confesses her life story to a priest, divulging it only because a priest bears the weight of confidentiality.

Her story continues for the entirety of the book and undermines religious tradition and rites with unabashed humor.

Full of wit and sass, Mariuccia is a female character that is a welcome escape from more serious novels. Her r
...more
Annie
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Melissa Hardy’s hilarious novel, The Oracle of Cumae, is set up as a story, within a story, within a story, and sometimes within yet another story. It begins with a very old woman sending for a priest. She doesn’t want to confess. Mariuccia Umbellino is very clear about that. She just wants to tell her story before she passes away. Her story is later transcribed, a generation or so later, by a woman who tells us she doesn’t believe a word of it...

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I receiv/>Read
...more
Annarella
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
A funny and entertaining book that made me laugh out loud.
It's well written, engrossing and the cast of characters is well thought and interesting.
I'd have preferred some more check on the Italian word as most of them are wrong or used in the wrong way.
It was a fun read, recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
McKenzie Peterson
Sep 30, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is a fun, witty, little romp through early modern Italy. The details and the humor of this novel are what really makes it enjoyable. It's not an especially fast paced novel and not a lot happens in particular. This is mostly a comedy of errors that borderlines on a black comedy at times, but it's worth the read if you're into meandering and humorous novels.
Bonnie
Sep 08, 2019 rated it liked it
The Oracle of Cumae is a humorous book that takes you on twists and turns. There is a sarcastic wit written in that pokes fun at the beliefs, traditions, and "unknowns" during the time period. A lot of dated catholic terminology is thrown in that makes great use of Kindle's wikipedia and dictionary tools. Overall, a funny read. Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Paul
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
A light, funny book. Fun characters and interesting locations and a good plot. A very good mix of elements that make for a well written novel. Recommended.

I really appreciate the advanced copy for review!!
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I was born and raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Beginning in 1966 and for the next thirty years my father, novelist William Hardy, worked for the Cherokee Historical Association, first as Director of the symphonic drama Unto These Hills, which chronicles the events leading up to the Trail of Tears, the removal of the Cherokee to Oklahoma, then as its Producer. As a result I spent seven summe ...more