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100 Pages A Day...Stephanie's Book Reviews

I absolutely love historical fiction and read a lot of it; I love to learn history this way.  I also enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and non-fiction science.

The Witch of Napoli

The Witch of Napoli - Michael Schmicker

In Naples, Italy at the turn of the 20th century, Tommaso Labella gets the chance to photograph the medium Alessandra Poverelli.  Tommaso captures a photo of Alessandra levitating a table and Alessendra captures his heart.  Alessandra's ability to levitate tables, produces knocks and become possessed by spirits soon earns her a following along with much skepticism.  One man of science, psychiatrist Camillo Lombardi believes that there may be some scientific explanation to Alessandra's feats.  Lombardi takes Alessandra and Tommaso on a tour of Europe for shows and scientific testing; meanwhile, Nigel Huxley, head of England's Society for the Investigation of Medium believes that Alessandra is nothing but a cheat and launches a campaign to bring her down.  

Based on the real and turbulent life of Eusapia Palladino, Alessandra Poverelli's story is brought forth in a magical interpretation. Thorugh the eyes of Tommaso, Alessandra is placed in an enchanting but realistic light.  Tomasso and Alessandra are both from the impoverished section of Naples, and Alessandra's attitude shows it.  She is fiery and defiant and will not be put up with being called a cheat.  I enjoyed Tomasso's point of view since he didn't care if Alessandra's talents are real or not, he just cared for her.  One of the mysteries carried throughout the book was if Alessandra truly had powers.  The writing was done in a mesmerizing way that allowed the reader to decide.  Set in the age of Spiritualism, I was intrigued by the power struggle between science and paranormal and religion and the Spiritualist's threat to the church.  With all of the competing viewpoints, Alessandra's struggles made for a fascinating and engaging read.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.  
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