This was a very interesting story, told from a unique point of view. Our main character has already passed away, and the story is being told in a series of memories from a reporter/photographer.
From the back of the book:
“Historical fiction with a paranormal twist, set in Italy and England in 1899.
Italy 1899: Fiery-tempered, erotic medium Alessandra Poverelli levitates a table at a Spiritualist séance 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. 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.”
While this story moves very slowly, it is very dense. The author does not waste a single word. After reading a few pages, I felt the need to set the book down and process all that was said. At almost 350 pages, it took quite a while to get all the way through it.
All of the characters are well laid out, you really get to know them and care about them. Our main star Alessandra is quite remarkable. She has a gift, that she learns at a very young age how to turn it from a gift to a very profitable way of life. She is known as the Cinderella of the Physic realm, and is a rags to riches type of life.
If you like historical fiction then this would be for you, just be ware that it is slow paced without any huge story arc.