Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Historical Fiction by History and Women Press, December 2013.
Source: The author in return for an honest and unbiased review.
First Sentences: "Look out behind you, Enrico!" The warning shout arose over the howls and bellows of men in the violent throes of battle.
Review Quote: Mirella Sichirollo Patzer's novel, Orphan of the Olive Tree - Historical Romance Saga, is skillfully plotted and provides a tasty dish of jealousy, revenge, unrequited love, rebellion, loyalty, superstition, and sheer, wicked spitefulness...Ms. Patzer is a truly fine writer. She has it all down - dialogue, plotting, descriptive power, and characterization. IndieHeart.com
My Opinion: A delightful read.
What a delightful read this was, a well researched novel set in 13C Italy. I love Italy and found that the author really managed to evoke life during the medieval period when life was full of superstition. The storyline takes many twists and turns in this entertaining novel of secrets, lies and treachery.
Best friends Enrico and Carlo are so close that they betroth their first born children to wed each other, long before they have families. Living in the Tuscan countryside near Siena, the two families are neighbours, Enrico and his wife Felicia, Carlo with his wife Prudenza. Despite their husbands friendship the two women do not get on with each other, they are vastly different in character. Felicia has no family apart from Enrico and asks for nothing more than to raise a family, whilst Prudenza is very materialistic and envious of the wife of her husband's friend. An envy that is all consuming and damaging to all around her. It does not prove easy for either woman to conceive to fulfil their husbands wish, but eventually both women give birth to twins. Felicia gives birth first and it is Prudenza's jealousy that makes her spread an old superstition, that ruins her neighbours reputation and marriage. It is somewhat ironic when Prudenza herself also gives birth to twins and has to make a dramatic decision, one that will catch up with them all eventually. The truth has a way of outing itself eventually!
I can recommend this to any reader that enjoys historical fiction and the fact it is set in Italy means that this passionately written novel will probably also appeal to many Italophiles.
Mirella Sichirollo Patzer writes sweeping historical novels set in exciting periods of history. From the medieval eras to the early 18th century, her novels feature intriguing characters and fascinating heroines. Her favourite setting is Italy, for that's where the root of her passion lies because of her strong Italian heritage, but she has also written about early Canada and medieval Germany. As well as writing historical fiction she is also an avid reader of the genre.
First generation Italian/Canadian, Mirella was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, but grew up in Calgary, a city famous for the Calgary Stampede, oil companies, and the wild west. She attended the University of Calgary where she specialized in leadership and human resources. She has worked as a bilingual secretary, police radio operator, and manager. She loves a clean orderly house but hates housework, detests winter, and is a mild claustraphobic. She has a passion for books, cooking, writing, and a good helping of her home-made tira-mi-su. She lives in Cochrane, Alberta, with her husband and family.
The biographical information and photo used in this post are with thanks to the following websites, where you can also find more information about the author and her writing.
Twitter - Mirella Patzer Author's Blog - History and Women Goodreads - Author Profile
Amazon Author Page Mirella Sichirollo Patzer - Historical Fiction Author Facebook Profile