Monday, March 09, 2015

Reading The Betrothed

For Book Club we just finished reading the Italian Classic The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni. I had vaguely known of its existence, before I saw it on the Well-Read Mom book club list for this year, and had certainly never read it.

This past Saturday my local book club chapter discussed it, and we enjoyed comparing notes on this unforgettable history-based story of faith, love and adventure. Some of the characters are historical, and so are events and geographical events. It is said that before the book a description of the Milan plague had never been done--and Manzoni does it superbly!

Below are some images of the original Italian edition.

His landscape/geography descriptions were so beautifully written.

Don Rodrigo is the trouble maker... and Friar Christophoro is a saintly man!

Trouble for Lucia!

The chapter on the missed vocation of this nun--daughter of a domineering wealthy man--was so interesting!

A conversion scene worthy of Dostoevsky! 

Before the tale of woe of the young couple ends, the plague happens... and with is great disruptions in Milan. 
The book had that old romance type feeling, with some comical parts even. But the story of a couple wanting to to God's will and going to great lengths to do it transcends time beautifully! Supposedly this classic is read by all students in Italy, and Manzoni is the second most read Italian author after Dante!

I found a film version online in a rare films store in NYC, and it has been going around the homes of my book club members.

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