The Blind Contessa’s New Machine by Carey Wallace

The Blind Contessa’s New Machine by Carey Wallace (2010)
Based on the true story of a 19th century inventor and his innovation, The Blind Contessa’s New Machine is a story of love and the triumph of the imagination.

In Italy in the early 1800s, the Contessa Fantoni is engaged to marry the town’s most eligible bachelor when she suspects that she is losing her eyesight. Only one person really believes and understands her; her childhood friend, Turri. With his eccentric interest in invention and in an act of love, he provides Carolina with a writing machine so that she can write and communicate with the world.

Wallace’s novel imagines the love affair that inspired a remarkable invention. Her passages which describe Carolina’s dreams and memories are wonderfully written and show that although physically limited by her blindness, Carolina’s world is unlimited and full of adventure. The novella was inspired by the true story of Pellegrino Turri and the Contessa Fantoni!

Check out the book group guide and read an interview with the author.

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