Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Blind Contessa's New Machine, by Carey Wallace

The Blind Contessa's New Machine: A Novel Carolina is slowly going blind.  She tries to tell her husband and her parents, and they think she is joking, believing her to mean she is blinded by love.  Only her long time friend Turri knows the truth, and helps her to deal with the ever increasing darkness.  As the darkness increases, so does Turri's love for Carolina, and he ignites passions in her that she never knew existed.  The only solace she finds is in her dreams, where she can still see.  In an effort to ease her pain, Turri invents a machine that allows Carolina to type out letters to her family and friends, a way of reconnecting with the outside world.

This book is very different from anything I have ever read.  I am still not entirely sure how I feel about it.  It is set in 19th century Italy, and it reads as if it really were written in that time.  It seems...old. Classic.  Regal.  Which is good.  But it also means that it is difficult to feel close to the story.  I found it hard to really form a relationship with the characters and become a part of the story.

Carolina's character is graceful, and your heart aches for her as she delves into darkness, but you never really feel as if you know her.  I found it difficult to really focus on the story, and constantly felt as if there was something I was missing.  This might be one of those books that at some point, I might have to go back and re-read to really get it, but there was real beauty in the story nonetheless.

A touring review copy of this book was provided courtesy of Crazy Book Tours.

Crazy Book Tours

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