A favorite book is always a treasured item. No matter how old we get or what happens in our lives, we know that we can go back to that book and be transported to our happy place.
One of my favorite Gothic romance novels is Ann Radcliffe’s The Italian. Set in Inquisition era Naples is the ill fated love story of Ellena Rosalba and Vincentio di Vivaldi. Ellena is an orphan under the guardianship of an aging aunt, Vincentio is the son of the Marchese and Marchesa of Naples. Neither the Marchese or the Marchesa think that Ellena is a proper bride for their son. As soon as Ellena’s aunt dies, she mysteriously vanishes. Vivaldi goes on a journey to find his beloved, not knowing this his mother and her confessor Father Schedoni might be the ones responsible for Ellena’s disappearance.
This book is incredible. Set against the backdrop of the Inquisition, the story is kind of Snow White-ish, but it is much darker and deeper. The curve ball that Mrs. Radcliffe throws in at the end of the book is amazing and blew me away the first time I read this story.
I recommend it.