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This charming and refreshingly modest debut hinges on a romantic triangle consisting of a blind contessa, her aristocratic husband, and an eccentric inventor. As Carolina Fantoni and Pietro prepare for their wedding in early 19th-century Italy, she tells her handsome, well-born fiancé that she is going blind. Like her family, he doesn't take her seriously, and only Turri, Carolina's friend and married neighbor, believes her. While Pietro engages in less than lofty pursuits, Turri and Carolina continue to meet on Carolina's father's property, and Carolina's creeping blindness inspires Turri to invent a machine she can use to write messages. His invention—a typewriter—sparks an affair that could have far-reaching consequences for them both. Wallace has a smooth style and a sure hand in combining near tragedy with whimsy, whether she's detailing Carolina and Pietro's social circle, the state of scientific knowledge, or the progression of Carolina's blindness. Secondary characters, including Carolina's not-so loyal servant girl, Liza, are sketched with hints of a darker, deeper psychology. Despite its relative brevity, this is a work of surprising insight, humor, and heart.(July)
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ISBN-10:  067002189X
ISBN-13:  978-0670021895
Author:  Carey Wallace
Genre:  Fiction
Publisher:  Pamela Dorman Books
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review by . August 26, 2010
This was a fun little romantic story. It was well written, easy to get through and entertaining.  There were times that it dragged a little. It is not a face paced, action packed story but it is not claiming to be.    The premise is unique but ends up with a centuries old twist. I really liked the characters and hated that the Carolina was going blind. It was a slow process and the description of it gave me a real sense of what she was going through.    I …
review by . July 12, 2010
Carolina's eyesight is growing dim. Neither her husband-to-be nor her parents acknowledge this fact, but Carolina has found a way to accept what has happened. When her sight is completely gone, she escapes the real world into a land of endless possibilities. She says goodbye to real life and enters a world where she can fly free. The only person who is truly there for Carolina is Turri. When he constructs the first typewriter, for her, they tumble into a passionate love affair.    I …
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The Blind Contessa's New Machine: A Novel
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