Italy Fiery Tempered, Seductive Medium Alessandra Poverelli Levitates A Table At A Spiritualist S Ance In Naples A Reporter Photographs The Miracle, And Wealthy, Skeptical, Jewish Psychiatrist Camillo Lombardi Arrives In Naples To Investigate When She Materializes The Ghost Of His Dead Mother, He Risks His Reputation And Fortune To Finance A Tour Of The Continent, Challenging The Scientific And Academic Elite Of Europe To Test Alessandra S Mysterious Powers She Will Help Him Rewrite Science His Fee Will Help Her Escape Her Sadistic Husband Pigotti And Start A New Life In Rome Newspapers Across Europe Trumpet Her Cinderella Story And Baffling Successes, And The Public Demands To Know Does The Queen Of Spirits Really Have Supernatural Powers Nigel Huxley Is Convinced She S Simply Another Vulgar, Italian Trickster The Icy, Aristocratic Detective For England S Society For The Investigation Of Mediums Launches A Plot To Trap And Expose Her Meanwhile, The Vatican Is Quietly Digging Up Her Childhood Secrets, Desperate To Discredit Her Supernatural Powers Her Abusive Husband Pigotti Is Coming To Kill Her And The Tarot Cards Predict Catastrophe Inspired By The True Life Story Of Controversial Italian Medium Eusapia Palladino , The Witch Of Napoli Masterfully Resurrects The Bitter,th Century Battle Between Science And Religion Over The Possibility Of An Afterlife A really well written historical fiction should send the reader into a researching mode, seeing what was act what was fiction Here, didn t even have to look far, the author has considerately provided an afterword regarding the real life medium his title character was based on I ve long been interested in the fascination or really obsession with paranormal that was always present, but particularly prevalent in Europe at the end of 19th and start of the 20th centuries Just as tangible sciences were making radical steps into the future and inventions like electricity were changing the world, there was a parallel development of Spiritualism, pursuit of a knowledge of afterlife that lead to an entire subculture of mediums, s ances, researchers, debunkers, etc What was seen was either believed at face value or subjected to thorough investigation There were reports of ectoplasm, apports and levitations, be it mass hysteria, extreme suggestiveness or just seeing things as they were, all this was observed numerous times by a variety of individuals The mediums were fascinating individuals, perceived either as genuinely spiritually gifted or genuinely gifted charlatans One of the most significant mediums of the time was an Italian woman by the name of Eusapia Palladino who was a terrific character in real lie and well worth reading up on , this book is a highly fictionalized account of her life As far as subjects go, the author not only picked a great one, but he is also extremely qualified in writing about it by the virtue of being an experienced journalist and writer on paranormal subjects As far as writing goes, the book was accessible and interesting, took me a short while to get into and then it completely engaged me His lively characters and vivid descriptions of a bygone era were absolutely excellent This book may or may not make a believer out of its readers, but it ll certainly entertain and possibly bewitch Really enjoyable read Highly recommended. I was gifted a copy of The Witch of Napoli by the author, and have given an honest review Although fictional, this story was inspired by true life 1890 s Italian Medium, Eusapia Palladino The narration is provided by Tomaso Labella, and documents the life of Allesandra, a Neopolitan medium Tomaso is sent by his newspaper to photograph one of Allesandra s seances His photograph not only launches his own career, but brings Allesandra to the attention of scientists Interest in the occult was very popular at the time, and Allesandra is a very engaging, if fiery character, who performs levitations, communications with the dead, materialisations etc, and as such, there are those eager to put her gift to the test Is she for real She is tested throughout Europe, both by believers those who are desperate to have prove of the afterlife , and non believers, skeptics, who would love to expose her as fraudulent One skeptic in particular, Huxley , has a personal vendetta against her, and does his best to destroy her reputation Tomaso accompanies her on her tour of Europe as official photographer It s an absorbing tale, capturing beautifully, the sense of late nineteenth century Europe It isn t essential to have an interest in the paranormal, as the story is captivating in its own right The friendship between Tomaso and Allesandra has its ups and downs,but is something that remains constant, and regardless of their relationships with others, they remain close for life The author only relates at the end, that his book was inspired by a real life medium, and provides research material to back this up It s to Michael Schmicker s credit, that the painstaking research carried out, has resulted in this absorbing book Many thanks Michael for the chance to read this delightful book. I really enjoyed this book, so much so I was disappointed when it ended Captivating, heart wrenching it snagged my attention from the very first sentence.I was smitten with the two main protagonists Alessandra Poverelli and Tomaso Labella Alessandra is a spitfire, born a peasant she is as tough as nails Tomaso, a young budding photographer is instantly taken by Alessandra, together they deal with numerous trials and tribulations, highs and lows as Alessandra s career launches.Alessandra is a compelling character serving as the cog of the narrative Quick temper, hardness overshadowing her softness As her story unfolds life hasn t been kind to this formidable woman, downright cruel She is flawed, she makes a major mistake paying a heavy price Her gift is scrutinized, is she a fraud or is her gift authentic The pressure is on to discover if she levitates tables without props, is she really a medium You can t help rooting for Alessandra, and you truly hope she s for real, her unfiltered mouth leaves you shocked as well as laughing as she freely speaks her mind, her hair trigger temper often unleashed.The narrative possesses just enough paranormal element to ignite interest adding plausibility as you are thoroughly entertained Heavy scenarios are tempered by comical insertions Male oppression rears its ugly head as the era holds women under the microscope facing harsh judgment and criticism, praise and credibility undoubtedly earned at a heavy price Tomaso is Alessandra s life ring, her rock and as time passes their forever friendship is cemented Tomaso is clearly Alessandra s champion good or bad, a crackerjack or fraud, their bond rock solid Tomaso pulls at your heart as his devotion and love anchors Alessandra One exciting read you won t want to miss, highly recommend. Read on the WondrousBooks blog. To be honest, I don t have much to say about this book It didn t influence me in some special way, it didn t really touch me much either The Witch of Napoli is a tolerable, easy book to read It s not going to take you than a day, it s not going to burden you and it s going to be interesting enough.The story is simple the life of a self proclaimed spiritualist, who s trying to prove to the pessimists that she s not making the spirits up.When we say spiritual in this book, there is nothing grand and lavish, Alessandra is capable of letting spirits borrow her body, they move tables, spit, curse, talk, etc.The entire book is simple and sort of quiet The author is not trying too hard and for that he gets my admiration The writing is pleasurable and efficient The characters were too distant for me, however I didn t even try to put myself in their shoes, I was a spectator entirely.What I didn t like about the book was that 1 3 of it was in Italian I forever fail to understand why writers find it in any way interesting and fruitful to use a foreign language in their English books What they are trying to accomplish is a mystery to me, so the two most sensible answers seem to be a trying to add authenticityb trying to look educatedWhichever one it is STOP DOING IT If you feel the need to translate your own book, you re doing something wrong And there are also words and exclamations which are not translated and to understand them I had to either thank my limited Italian vocabulary, or use my imagination, like the description of the naughty nurse with the rosary somewhere I d imagine it was dangling between her boobs, but I have no idea where that comes from.Either way, nobody really cares that you possibly speak Italian, half of the people in the civilized world speak than one language, and I can t even be sure how good your Italian is, by the way, since I DON T UNDERSTAND IT A couple years ago I read a book half written in Ukrainian, I think Only the fact that Bulgarian is also a Slavic language saved that book from being burned I m curious, Mr Schmicker, how much you d enjoy reading a book which is half Tagalog Not much, I d imagine.As a whole, if you want to kill of a Sunday afternoon with a cup of tea, you should give The Witch of Napoli a shot If you are looking for a serious book filled with action, adventure, history and magic well, look elsewhere.
Michael Schmicker is an investigative journalist, nationally known writer on scientific anomalies and the paranormal, and Top 100 author He s also a historical fiction buff his two all time favorites being Umberto Eco s The Name of the Rose and George Orwell s Burmese Days, because he spent five formative years in Southeast Asia His latest book is The Witch of Napoli, an histori
- Kindle Edition
- 294 pages
- The Witch of Napoli
- Michael Schmicker
- 04 April 2019 Michael Schmicker