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Historical Fiction


Giovanna Mozzillo





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Giovanna Mozzillo lives and works in Naples. Among her published books: "Le alghe di Posillipo", "Tempo di cicale", "Recita napoletana" (winner of the “Naples in the World” Award), "La signorina e amore" (short-listed for the Premio Morante 2002), "Life as a game" (short-listed for the Premio Melfi 2008), "Malgrado Tu Sia Altrove" and "Ritorno in Egitto".





Ippolita and Lucrezia are mother and daughter in a noble Naples vice-royal family.

Ippolita loves, and sees her feelings returned by, the preceptor of the offspring (a priest who finds it hard to recognize himself in the values of the Roman Church and is captivated by Giordano Bruno’s doctrine), while her daughter Lucrezia surrenders to the passion of a young and celebrated “canterino”, a singer who, thanks to his art, gets invited to palaces and courts throughout Europe.

The young singer is of humble origin, and, even worse, is a castrato.

The setting for the story is a Baroque Naples with its rituals, its perverse certainties and its fatal obsessions, and the mountain village where the protagonists seek escape when the plague explodes in the city.

The two women will have to pay a high price for rebelling and redeeming, yet this way they will be able to experience a full and unsuspected happiness, made even more exciting by the discovery that wanting to master oneself is not a sin - but a right.


"The pace is pressing until the end of the story."   -Giovanna Nappi, ex-libris20  "Great cameo of grand-aunt Diotima where Lucrezia's family takes shelter to escape the plague. A woman who embodies feminism in the strictest sense, someone who feels deep hatred towards the male gender, so much so that she does not want men in her presence. All this without being churchy and sanctimonious, but sensitive and intelligent."  -Cristiana Abbate, senza linea "A book to be read in one breath, it gives the magic taste of ancient Naples, its history and legends. The love story keeps the reader in suspense until the sad ending and the outcoming fecund rebirth."  -Lisa Terranova, la provincia online


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