a) a rabbit’s foot
b) a gobbo
c) a four leaf clover
Did you pick the gobbo? Unlikely but probable if you’d lived in Calabria, southern Italy one hundred years ago when people credited the hunchbacked creature with magical power.
The Inheritance is set from 1897 to 1913 in Calabria, a region in southern Italy. It tells the story of Caterina, an atypical peasant woman who challenges social norms and the tragic chain of events her determination to live a life of her choosing ignites. Authenticity makes historical fiction come alive and the gobbo appears in Chapter One. A peasant mother is in thethroes of a difficult childbirth and Mafalda, the village midwife, wears the talisman on a piece of twine around her neck and entreats it to grant the baby a safe delivery.
What Keeps Your Home Safe?
a) surveillance cameras
b) a walled compound
I doubt you picked lavender. An ancient herb used by various cultures to treat wounds, headaches and depression, Calabrian society at the time of The Inheritance also believed lavender shielded against evil.
Edoardo, Caterina’s father, plants lavender shrubs around their stone cottage to protect her when she is alone. He also tucks stalks underneath her pillow to ward off evil while she sleeps.
Every detail in a historical fiction is planned and superstitions depicted in The Inheritance illustrate prevailing beliefs.
I took this photograph on a research trip to Calabria and selected it for the cover of The Inheritance to help readers imagine Caterina’s stone cottage.
Are you superstitious?
The Inheritance tells the story of a family disintegrating from conflicting loyalties in Calabria, Italy. Set during the period 1897 to 1913, the region was subject to earthquakes and tsunamis; the land harsh and poverty the norm. Superstition clashed with religion and a class system ruled the people. Calabria is the perfect backdrop for the tragedy that unfolds in The Inheritance.
Caterina is an atypical woman, and The Inheritance chronicles her life from birth to young womanhood. Born with an inheritance of loss into a society that has predetermined what she can and cannot do, she vows to live a life of her choosing. Caterina refuses to allow the limits of her gender, the constraints of her class and the demands imposed by those in power to stand in her way. Caterina remains steadfast in her commitment to become the woman she imagines. Her decisions ignite conflicts and fuel a chain of events that result in dire consequences for all whose path she crosses.
Praise for The Inheritance:
“Like a classic star-crossed love story, the novel is written with lush detail enriched with both likable and loathsome characters. In particular, Perry builds strong and decisive female characters. Although the key action doesn’t occur until the final chapters, Perry’s exquisite descriptions will transport readers back to the time and place of Lorenzo and Caterina’s romance-the brilliant colors in villa gardens, the smells and tastes of decadent food, and the menacing sounds of the ocean during an earthquake. After the engrossing storylines come to an abrupt end, a cliff-hanger will leave readers anxious for a sequel to continue Lorenzo and Caterina’s tragic story. Solid characters and vivid imagery capture the mood, traditions and uncertainty of the time.” – Kirkus Reviews, December 7, 2012
“The premise for The Inheritance was inspired by the author’s genealogical research in Calabria, Italy. Marianne Perry’s research trip to Cosenza province is obvious in her vivid descriptions of the setting of “The Inheritance”. The landscape, colours, culture, native food, plants and flowers, and even the weather are all vibrantly described……Perry deftly weaves secrets and betrayals throughout the entire book, not only among the two families but the supporting characters, as well….Marianne Perry weaves a very vivid tale that might well have happened hundreds of times over the centuries. “The Inheritance” will definitely make you think about how our ancestors came to be aboard a transatlantic vessel for a perilous three week voyage to being a new life.” – Amanda Morehouse, The Ontario-Canada Genealogical Society, August 2014
About the author
Family dynamics, genealogical research to solve ancestral mysteries and international travel are Marianne Perry’s priorities. A second-generation Canadian-Italian, she is the author of The Inheritance, a historical fiction set in Calabria, Italy from 1897 to 1913 inspired by her grandmother’s early life in Calabria. With a thirty-year career in education and communications, Marianne holds a Master of Education Degree from The University of Western Ontario (Canada).
A past member of the Board of Trustees, the Canadian National Arts Centre Corporation, she has also published non-fiction genealogical articles throughout North America. As a girl, Marianne fell in love with The National Geographic Magazine and dreamt of exploring the world. With her recent visit to Antarctica, she achieved her goal of stepping foot on every continent. The mother of two grown children, Marianne and her husband live on the shores of the St. Mary’s River, which drains Lake Superior on the outskirts of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. She continues to research family history and write non-fiction genealogical articles. In addition, she is working on her second novel and planning further adventures.
Marianne blogs about genealogy, travel, family and writing on her website.