The Blind Contessa’s New Machine
by Carey Wallace
Historical Fiction, 207 pages
The book took place during the nineteenth century in Italy. Contessa Carolina Fantoni was going blind, yet nobody believed not even her fiancé. The only believer was her friend, Pellegrino Turri who also turned into her lover. Turri was ten years older and married himself, yet they sneaked away to the lake house where Carolina spent so much time in her youth. Her husband basically held her captive and locked the house, because he was in fear that she wouldn’t be able to handle the outside world being blind. Turri proclaimed that he loved her and begged to run away together. Carolina attempted to write a letter, but it was a disaster because the ink spilled and she couldn’t write straight. Turri invented a typewriter for her to write letters. She was now able to freely write to family and secret messages to Turri. The story events were true, since Pellegrino Turri was often accredited for inventing the first working typewriter and carbon paper. Unfortunately, not much was known about the typewriter but some of Carolina’s letters written on the typewriter survived.
The Blind Contessa’s New Machine was interesting, because there were no chapters and it seemed almost like a whimsical tale. Books need a problem or conflict, but this book really didn’t have anything besides the fact that she was blind and had a lover. I think the only reason I finished the book was because it was so easy and fast.