Little jewel

The Blind Contessa’s New Machine by Carey Wallace is a beautiful book. I felt compelled to pick it up and devour it. It is a perfect little volume with a gorgeous cover that holds a lyrical tale of love and loss.

From the novel’s first intriguing paragraph, I was drawn into the Contessa’s world.

"On the day Contessa
Carolina Fantoni was married, only one other living person knew that she was going blind, and he was not her groom. This was not because she had failed to warn them. ‘I am going blind,’ she had blurted to her mother, in the welcome dimness of the family coach, her eyes still bright with tears from the searing winter sun. By this time, her peripheral vision was already gone. Carolina could feel her mother take her hand, but she had to turn to see her face. When she did, her mother kissed her, her own eyes full of pity. ‘I have been in love, too,’ she said, and looked away."

It is the story of Carolina Fantoni, a young Contessa in 18th-century
Italy. She realizes she is going blind as she is about to be married. Carolina is the child of a distant mother and a loving but eccentric father. She has a childhood friendship with Turri. He is an eccentric inventor who has made a bad marriage and finds solace in his friendship with Carolina. Turri is also the only person who understands she is going blind.
The story chronicles Carolina’s shrinking visual world and how her other senses expand. It is also a story of deep passion, sensuality, and friendship between Carolina and Turri.
Carey Walker writes beautifully. Her prose is mesmerizing and her characters are original, imaginative, and memorable. Treat yourself to this little jewel, then buy another for a special friend.