Book review: The Inheritance by Marianne Perry

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Book Details:
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Book Title: The Inheritance by Marianne Perry
Category:  Adult Fiction, 280 pages
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher:  iUniverse
Published: November 2012
Available in:  Print, ebook (ePub)
Will send books: USA & Canada
Tour dates:  September 7 to 25, 2015
Content Rating:  G
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Book Description:
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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.
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Praise for The Inheritance:
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“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
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“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
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Buy the book:    Amazon     Barnes & Noble    Chapters/Indigo

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Meet 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.
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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.
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Marianne blogs about genealogy, travel, family and writing on her website. Visit her at http://www.marianneperry.ca. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Goodreads.
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Connect with the author:    Website   ~   Twitter   ~    Facebook
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REVIEW:
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In a time where women were meant to be decorative and to stay at home and raise children, Anna is a compassionate, strong-willed woman who endeavours to help those less fortunate than herself.  The inheritance she brings to her marriage allows her husband to expand his business activities. However, early on in their marriage her husband Santo, begins to lead another life  apart from her.  He soon removes her two oldest sons from her care to “follow in the family business”.   Anna is left with her youngest son, Lorenzo, who is very unlike his other brothers in that his artistic sensibilities allow him to aborb the beauty in the world around him.
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Anna’s protegee, an orphan and servant girl, Caterina, develop a close-knit bond that Santo, Anna’s husband disapproves of.  Lorenzo, as he matures into a young man begins to understand how different he is from his father and brothers.  This leads to conflict in several of the storylines in this plot and keeps you interested until the end of the book.
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I found the writing to be a bit choppy and sometimes I was a little confused as to the identity of the secondary characters in this book.  I love cliffhangers but I found the ending to be a little “abrupt”.  Is it possible that there is a sequel to this book?
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A quick and easy read with villains, saints and a good-natured chef.
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