Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sveva Casati Modignani

Comment: This will be a small comment about a book I've recently read by an Italian author, Sveva Casati Modignani.
On the left, the Portuguese cover, on the right one of the kindle Italian ones.

Apparently this author has only two books published in English (as I've found on amazon) and only available on kindle edition. It's complicated to talk about the author when it's practically unknown to English speaking readers. In Portugal the author was translated and most of her books are available.

I've looked for an English speaking publisher that might be the owner of a translation deal but found nothing. I only found this review of one of her other books and not even on goodreads do her books show up in the English editions, only the Portuguese and original Italian ones.
Here's the author's blog, obviously in Italian.

-> So, I won't take long with this comment considering how difficult it might be for any English speaking reader to get the book unless you do know Italian.

The book I've read can be translated into Rain of Diamonds.
It's the story of an Italian family whose patriarch is dying at he beginning of the book. We see him come up with a scheme concerning many diamonds in all shapes, sizes and values. When he dies, his heritage is spread among the family but the diamonds are missing and no one knows where they are.

The story focuses on the family's looking for the diamonds and why but most of the story is set on the past where we learn how the patriarch grew up to become successful and how one of his daughters-in-law lived as well to become who she is.

Those two past stories don't mingle, and take up most of the space with many details that, although fascinating, don't really matter to the main plot. Yes, they serve to justify some behavior and later choices, but overall I don't think they mattered that much.

The main plot follows the short life of one of the patriarch's granddaughters and how depressed she was. She was his favorite because of her name, Maria Carlotta - same name as his firstborn who died as a child - and she was rumored to know about the diamonds because she was the last family member to be with him before he died.

Now, I'll put some spoilers ahead so that most of you can know what's the book mystery but if you plan on reading this one day, just rest assured drama follows, old love shows up and people are left angry.




So, the granddaughter kills herself which starts up the whole going to the past parts and we know the protagonist, the granddaughter's mother finds the diamonds on an old printing machine that stared the patriarch's business and empire and she exchanges them with stones. The rest of the family is angry and we know they have troubles but revenge is served anyway.
The granddaughter's mother ends up realizing she is happier working with her father at his restaurant instead of being a rich man's wife but in the end she meets her first crush again and it's sort of implied they will become friends again.
So what about the diamonds? Well, in a really dramatic fashion, the mother put the diamonds on her daughter's coffin, spreading them on top of her. So she could keep her grandfather's heritage at last.
Yep...that is it. This was really annoying but poetic in a high drama and fictional kind of way, so...

* * * 

I don't plan to read more by the author. Her writing is always stopping and going with all the narrative pauses and goings with the past and present exchanges. Plus her voice didn't really do it for me. Too much drama and pointless, useless stuff. I can see why some like her, but for me this was it. Someone gave me the book as a gift and I read it but personally I won't look for more.

Those of you who can and want to look for her books prepare for woman's fiction, overly dramatic intended but mostly I think it's better described as soap opera style, with lyrical situations not always well accomplished.
Grade: 5/10

No comments:

Post a Comment