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The child of poor farmers, La Mennulara became a maid for a well-to-do local family when she was only a girl; by dint of hard work and intelligence, she became the indispensable administrator of the family's affairs. Still, she was a mere servant, and now (as this story begins) she is dead.
As the details unfold about this mysterious woman, The Almond Picker assumes the witty suspense of a thriller, the emotional power of a love story, and the evocative atmosphere of a historical novel. Set in Sicily in the 1960s, a violent, complicated society in the midst of tumultuous change, The Almond Picker is the story of a woman who negotiated for her freedom as no one else dared.
SIMONETTA AGNELLO HORNBY was born in Palermo and studied law in England, where she now lives. She is also the author of The Almond Picker.
“A classic Sicilian novel [in its] skeptical view of human goodness and a surprising tenderness for those on the lower, slippery rungs of the social ladder.” —Los Angeles Times
“With impressive technical skill, first-time author Hornby introduces a raft of characters [and] a series of mysteries satisfyingly solved in a well-crafted narrative. . . . Surprisingly moving.” —The Washington Post
“This is at heart a potboiler, but Alastair McEwen's translation preserves its dark and bitter Italian flavor.” —Booklist