The Witch of Napoli

Italy 1899 Fiery tempered, seductive medium Alessandra Poverelli levitates a table at a Spiritualist s ance in Naples A reporter photographs the miracle, and wealthy, skeptical, Jewish psychiatrist Camillo Lombardi arrives in Naples to investigate When she materializes the ghost of his dead mother, he risks his reputation and fortune to finance a tour of the Continent,Italy 1899 Fiery tempered, seductive medium Alessandra Poverelli levitates a table at a Spiritualist s ance in Naples A reporter photographs the miracle, and wealthy, skeptical, Jewish psychiatrist Camillo Lombardi arrives in Naples to investigate When she materializes the ghost of his dead mother, he risks his reputation and fortune to finance a tour of the Continent, challenging the scientific and academic elite of Europe to test Alessandra s mysterious powers She will help him rewrite Science His fee will help her escape her sadistic husband Pigotti and start a new life in Rome Newspapers across Europe trumpet her Cinderella story and baffling successes, and the public demands to know does the Queen of Spirits really have supernatural powers Nigel Huxley is convinced she s simply another vulgar, Italian trickster The icy, aristocratic detective for England s Society for the Investigation of Mediums launches a plot to trap and expose her The Vatican is quietly digging up her childhood secrets, desperate to discredit her supernatural powers her abusive husband Pigotti is coming to kill her and the tarot cards predict catastrophe Praised by Kirkus Reviews as an enchanting and graceful narrative that absorbs readers from the first page, The Witch of Napoli masterfully resurrects the bitter, 19th century battle between Science and religion over the possibility of an afterlife.
The Witch of Napoli Italy Fiery tempered seductive medium Alessandra Poverelli levitates a table at a Spiritualist s ance in Naples A reporter photographs the miracle and wealthy skeptical Jewish psychiatrist Ca

  • Title: The Witch of Napoli
  • Author: Michael Schmicker
  • ISBN: 9780990949022
  • Page: 117
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “The Witch of Napoli”

    1. I really enjoyed this book, so much so I was disappointed when it ended. Captivating, heart wrenching it snagged my attention from the very first sentence.I was smitten with the two main protagonists Alessandra Poverelli and Tomaso Labella. Alessandra is a spitfire, born a peasant she is as tough as nails. Tomaso, a young budding photographer is instantly taken by Alessandra, together they deal with numerous trials and tribulations, highs and lows as Alessandra’s career launches.Alessandra is [...]

    2. * I was gifted a copy of 'The Witch of Napoli' by the author, and have given an honest review*Although fictional, this story was inspired by true-life 1890's Italian Medium, Eusapia Palladino. The narration is provided by Tomaso Labella, and documents the life of Allesandra, a Neopolitan medium. Tomaso is sent by his newspaper to photograph one of Allesandra's seances. His photograph not only launches his own career, but brings Allesandra to the attention of scientists. Interest in the occult wa [...]

    3. Read on the WondrousBooks blog.To be honest, I don't have much to say about this book. It didn't influence me in some special way, it didn't really touch me much either. The Witch of Napoli is a tolerable, easy book to read. It's not going to take you more than a day, it's not going to burden you and it's going to be interesting enough.The story is simple: the life of a self-proclaimed spiritualist, who's trying to prove to the pessimists that she's not making the spirits up.When we say spiritua [...]

    4. Whether or not you believe in spiritualism, the paranormal or the supernatural, The Witch of Napoli – a fictional tale based on the real life controversial medium Eusapia Palladino (1854-1918) – is an enthralling read. Bewitched by the engaging characters, dramatic plot and masterful storytelling, this reader was very willing to suspend her disbelief and keep turning the pages. When Alessandra Poverelli, an illiterate Neapolitan woman with psychic powers, comes to the attention of the press, [...]

    5. This book was absolutely fascinating! I think the best part about it was that it really kept me guessing through the whole book. Alessandra's mood swings really grated on me, unfortunately, but I loved the rest of the book. And I loved to hate Huxley, he was quite a bastardo indeed. I think that anybody that's interested in turn of the century spiritualism would love this book. It was a pleasure to read and I'm very curious about the author's next book.

    6. Set in Italy in 1899, The Witch of Napoli is inspired by the true-life story of the controversial Italian spiritualist physical medium, Eusapia Palladino (1854-1918). Palladino’s expensive performances involved, amongst other things, levitating herself and tables, materializing; and communicating with, the dead, and producing spirit hands and faces in wet clay. Some believe these things to be the result of trickery, however many parapsychologists regard Palladino as a baffling, impressive and [...]

    7. The author, Michael Schmicker, investigates and writes about various paranormal activities, and he loosely based this novel on the real case of a particular Italian medium and some of the investigations which were conducted on her. This has become common recently, taking mostly obscure figures from the past and building a fictionalized novel around them. I haven’t decided what I think of the trend, but it’s a reality nonetheless.I wasn’t a fan of the story’s perspective, which used a com [...]

    8. [Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley.]There was a lot that bothered me about this book. I didn't enjoy the POV the author chose. Tomaso came across callous, unfeeling, and more like a pulp fiction private eye character than a newspaper photographer/reporter recalling events from 1899. The book is told from his POV, 20 years after the events he recounts, so he's speaking from somewhere around 1919. He was 16 at the start of 1899, so he's only ~36 by the end of the boo [...]

    9. Rome, 1918: The Great War appears unlikely ever to end, and the world grows weary. But Tommaso Labella, editor of the Roman newspaper Il Messagero, faces a more personal sorrow. He has just received the news that his friend Alessandra Poverelli has died of the tuberculosis that has plagued her for the last twenty years. Not an unexpected death but a sad one.The news propels Tommaso back into memories of his first meeting with Alessandra, then a noted medium in Naples, and the months that followe [...]

    10. A really well written historical fiction should send the reader into a researching mode, seeing what was act what was fiction. Here, didn't even have to look far, the author has considerately provided an afterword regarding the real life medium his title character was based on. I've long been interested in the fascination or really obsession with paranormal that was always present, but particularly prevalent in Europe at the end of 19th and start of the 20th centuries. Just as tangible sciences [...]

    11. Solid 3.5 star (rounded up cuz that's how I roll) historical chronicling of a young Italian reporter and his special spiritual-medium friend crisscrossing Europe to be studied by scientists to discover if spirits are truth or fiction. (That's a helluva sentence right there.)

    12. All of the characters present stood out three-dimensionally; however, it’s the two leads, Alessandra and Tommaso, which shined the brightest. Alessandra is an indomitable figure filled with grit and strength. The horrors and pain of her past would have toppled anyone of a lesser stature or with less of a will. Yet, she finds the guts to re-direct her life in a way that is amazing to read. On the other hand, she also displayed an incredible vulnerability in her dealings with men and highly vola [...]

    13. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. I was at first a bit hesitant when I realized the book's journey was being told by a 17 year old Italian boy, Tomaso. I have a hard time relating to "youngsters" :) Once I got past that I enjoyed the tale of the medium Allessandra Poverelli. I've always been interested in psychic phenomena and have read many books on the subject. This story is inspired by a true life medium. She is tested by believers and disbelieve [...]

    14. Captivating from start to finish, The Witch of Napoli is an unforgettable historical tale based on real life controversial Italian medium, Eusapia Palladino (1854 – 1918).If you enjoy the paranormal and the attempts to apply psychoanalytic theory to supernatural phenomena, I cannot recommend this book strongly enough. If it were a film, it would be a formidable blend of The Exorcist, Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight and David Cronenberg’s thought provoking, A Dangerous Method. Here tho [...]

    15. Set in Italy in 1899, The Witch of Napoli is inspired by the true-life story of the controversial Italian spiritualist physical medium, Eusapia Palladino (1854-1918). Palladino’s expensive performances involved, amongst other things, levitating herself and tables, materializing; and communicating with, the dead, and producing spirit hands and faces in wet clay. Some believe these things to be the result of trickery, however many parapsychologists regard Palladino as a baffling, impressive and [...]

    16. Based on the life of a controversial Italian medium, The Witch of Napoli is the story of Alessandra Poverelli, a gutsy woman, born and raised in the most deprived of circumstances, who is not only a survivor, but manages to hold her own in a hostile, masculine world.With the craze for spiritualism sweeping through Europe, young Tomaso Labella is sent by his newspaper to photograph one of Alessandra’s séances. Not only does Tomaso’s photo of Alessandra make her famous, it launches his career [...]

    17. This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three- [...]

    18. When Tommaso Labella is given the opportunity to photograph the famous Neopolitan medium, Alessandra Poverelli, he never dreamed his photograph would stir such interest. That is because he snapped it while the table was levitating. Tommaso becomes intrigued and falls for the lovely woman who can raise the dead and who games fame with every passing day. The photograph and news of Alessandra's talent soon catches the attention of Camillo Lombardi, a scientist/psychiatrist who studies mediums. He m [...]

    19. I don't think the synopsis does this book much justice as it seems to simply the story far more than it should. It's not just about Alessandra having to prove herself as a psychic/medium/spiritualist. It is also about her having to battle the prejudice she has been subject to since childhood, both as an 'outsider' and as a woman, and how she manages to remain immensely positive and optimistic despite what the world throws at her. Told through the eyes of Tomasso, a young man unfamiliar with the [...]

    20. 3.5* EntertainingI enjoyed this book as it flowed along easily and captured the reader from the beginning. The story follows Alessandra, a gifted medium in the nineteenth century, who is subjected to countless tests throughout Europe and Britain by those who dispute her abilities. Inspired by the true-life story of controversial Italian medium Eusapia Palladino (1854-1918), Alessandra struggles throughout her life to prove she has the power to levitate tables, and talk to spirits while striving [...]

    21. Updated review 7-25-2015*Won this book courtesy of a giveaway sponsored by Michael Schmicker. So glad I won a copy because it was FAN-TABULOUS!* I also received a digital review copy from NetGalley. I'm happy to provide my review to each and all. Oh my! Loved loved this highly entertaining, fictional account of an Italian "Queen of Spirits" and her entourage of friends, photographers, mentors, lovers, and enemies. THE WITCH OF NAPOLI turns out to be one of my favorite reads of 2015. Yes! It was [...]

    22. This has to be one of the most engaging stories I have read in the past five years, and I have 863 books archived on my Kindle and nearly 200 on my Nook reader. While I am not a huge fan of paranormal novels I am always looking for one with the right characters and setting to pull me in. When they are well researched historical pieces, I am most susceptible to being hooked. This one is exceptional. There is a mystique present at the "Turn of the Century'which provides a perfect backdrop as we jo [...]

    23. This is an historical which takes place during the Italian Revolution and a time of unparalleled Spiritualism during the late 19th century. The book is inspired by the true life story of the Italian medium Eusapia Palladino.The book is a story of an unusual friendship: a photographer, Tomaso Labella, and a medium, the Witch of Napoli, Alessandra Poverelli. Tomaso first meets Alessandra when he takes a picture of her next to a levitating table for the paper he works for, and the picture made both [...]

    24. Interesting book about a medium during the late Victorian age and the efforts of scientists and the church to expose her as a fraud. This book is based on a real person, Eusapia Palladino, and it spiked my interest enough that I’ll be turning to Google to find out more about her.The narrator of the story is Tommaso, a young photographer/reporter who took a famous photo of the medium, Alessandra Poverelli, levitating a table. He’s a likeable enough character and is the source of quite a bit o [...]

    25. At times uplifting, but more often heartbreaking, The Witch Of Napoli is the story of a woman who's life is full of pitfalls, but who manages to keep going and eventually vindicate herself. She loses a lot along the way, and because I came to feel very fondly for our witch Alessandra, I can't help but be a bit sad. In a way I'm glad to feel like this, it shows that I've developed a true interest in the main character, something which is hugely important to me as I'm always hoping for strong, rel [...]

    26. This is a great book for those of us who are a little turned off by historical fiction, fearing being bogged down by myriad historical facts and stuffiness. No stuffiness here, just a plain old good story that keeps you guessing. Is the bewitching Alessandra truly telekinetic or is she just really good at faking it?The story is told through the eyes of one of her contemporary admirers and recounts various candle-lit scenes of seances and possessions. I also admire the author's ability to address [...]

    27. Bravo to Michael Schmicker! I don't think I can really do this story justice. The work flows so effortlessly and captivated this reader from the get-go. Even though the story is mainly told through the recollections of a young adult, italian male; you feel the emotions of Alessandra, the main character. Allesandra is a medium, in an age when spiritualism was on the rise and there were many charlatans,that scientists liked to expose and debunk. It takes place around the turn of the 19th century.T [...]

    28. Take an investigative journalist and non-fiction author like Michael Schmicker, with a history of reporting on unusual phenomenon, turn his imagination loose and what you get is an engrossing historical novel like The Witch of Napoli. What happens when someone with faith in gifts she doesn’t understand comes up against skeptical scientific minds at the turn of the 20th century?“I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.” Carl Jung, Spe [...]

    29. When you go on adventure, you usually have something to write home about. In this case, there is nothing to write home about. This adventure in the past was not what I hoped for. The plot was not compelling enough, the characters lacked connection, and the historical aspect was not significant. With deep regret, I have to pass on this one. A special thank you to AuthorBuzz, Palladino Books and Netgalley for ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

    30. This was a very compelling historical fiction, loosely based on the life of a Napolitano medium at the turn of the nineteenth century. The author did a phenomenal job of turning this story into a riveting read, especially considering the fact that he typically writes nonfiction. I found the characters to be very believable. This novel has the potential of being brilliantly adapted for film.

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