In the early 1800s, a young Italian contessa, Carolina Fantoni, realizes she is going blind shortly before she marries the town's most sought-after bachelor. Her parents don't believe her, nor does her fiancé. The only one who understands is the eccentric local inventor and her longtime companion, Turri. When her eyesight dims forever, Carolina can no longer see her beloved lake or the rich hues of her own dresses. But as darkness erases her world, she discovers one place she can still see - in her dreams. Carolina creates a vivid dreaming life, in which she can not only see, but also fly, exploring lands she had never known.
Desperate to communicate with Carolina, Turri invents a peculiar machine for her: the world's first typewriter. His gift ignites a passionate love affair that will change both of their lives forever.
Based on the true story of a nineteenth-century inventor and his innovative contraption, The Blind Contessa's New Machine is an enchanting confection of love and the triumph of the imagination.
Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)
"[A] charming and refreshingly modest debut. Wallace has a smooth style and a sure hand in combining near tragedy with whimsy, whether she's detailing Carolina and Pietro's social circle, the state of scientific knowledge, or the progression of Carolina's blindness. A work of surprising insight, humor, and heart." - Publishers Weekly
"Writing with the assurance and the clarity of a seasoned author, Wallace crafts a seemingly simple, but ultimately iridescent, love story." - Booklist
"[An] enchanting debut... Carolina's struggle feels timeless. A dreamy, sensual fairy tale." - Kirkus Reviews
"Wallace is clearly a gifted writer and a wonderful storyteller. Her first novel, full of heart, wit and intelligence, is a remarkable accomplishment and gives us great reason to look forward to her next." - Debra Ginsberg, Shelf Awareness
"Carey Wallace has written a book of the senses, of sweet lemon blossoms and mysterious footfalls in the night. The Blind Contessa's New Machine is magical, rich and daring. You will be gloriously overwhelmed by this book. I know I was." - Sarah Addison Allen, New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells and The Girl Who Chased the Moon
"In this vibrant, aching romance, a young inventor helps a despairing contessa find an escape from her blindness in words and fantasies. In language both lustrous and lucid, Carey Wallace offers us a similar escape, transporting us into a lush and tirelessly imaginative dream of nineteenth-century Italy. To think that this is Wallace's first novel is to become suspicious that she has taken her sentences out of some ancient sorcerer's lost handbook; Wallace spirits us away with a master's spell." - Stefan Merrill Block, author of The Story of Forgetting
"An unusually poetic first novel, original and moving in its depiction of loss of sight and gain of words and love." - Sheila Kohler, author of Becoming Jane Eyre
"The Blind Contessa's New Machine is a delicate fable of loss, memory and most of all, the enduring legacy of self-sacrificing love. I was enchanted by Carey Wallace's gorgeous, magical prose, the effortless way she spins a timeless fairytale out of historical fact. This is a novel that, like the contessa's dreams, casts a spell of ethereal beauty." - Melanie Benjamin, author of Alice I Have Been
"The Blind Contessa's New Machine is a dazzling, fanciful tale that celebrates the imagination. Carey Wallace's debut novel is like a lovely little petit fours: exquisite, delicious, perfect." - Carolyn Turgeon, author of Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story
The information about The Blind Contessa's New Machine shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.
Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions
Win 5 books, each week in July!
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.
Your guide toexceptional books
BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.