The Almond Picker

by Simonetta Agnello Hornby | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 192114517x Global Overview for this book
Registered by VeganMedusa of Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on 7/12/2009
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by VeganMedusa from Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on Sunday, July 12, 2009
Amazon Editorial Review:

A surprising mystery--and love story--set in rural Sicily

Like many memorable works of fiction, The Almond Picker hinges on a question, in this case: who is Maria Rosalia Inzerillo, known as Mennulara, the almond picker? Born into a desperately poor Sicilian farming family, Mennulara went into service when she was only a girl, as a maid for a well-to-do local family; by dint of hard work and intelligence, she became the indispensable administrator of the family's affairs and was said to be rich. Still, she was a mere servant, and now (as the story begins) she is dead.

Who was she, really? Simonetta Agnello Hornby's wonderfully entertaining novel about this mysterious woman -- a bestseller in Italy when it was published in 2002 -- has all the suspense of a witty thriller, the emotions of a powerful love story, and the evocative atmosphere of a historical novel. Set in Sicily in the 1960s, a violent, complicated society in the midst of tumultuous change, where young and old, rich and poor, men and women are set against each other, The Almond Picker is the story of a woman who negotiated for her freedom as no one else dared.

Unusual instructions in Mennulara's will perplex the family she worked for and send the children on a kind of treasure hunt, for each of them wants to secure her fabled riches. She is no longer physically present, but her mysterious importance to them and to the village comes into focus in a series of dramatic encounters and spiky exchanges among the neighbors. Everyone has a very different idea about Mennulara's amazing life. Was she a humble servant who ruled her master, or perhaps a pawn for the Mafia? Was she a seducer and opportunist, a sly blackmailer waiting for a payoff, or the opposite? During the thirty days following her death, the surprising truth is revealed.

Journal Entry 2 by VeganMedusa from Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on Friday, January 22, 2010
What a wonderful book, quite different to anything I've read, recently at least. Haven't read The Leopard though. What an awful family the Alfallipes were!

Journal Entry 3 by VeganMedusa from Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on Sunday, February 14, 2010
Posted to azuki for the Yummy Yummy VBB.

Journal Entry 4 by wingAzukiwing from Miami, Florida USA on Tuesday, March 2, 2010
It's here, don't worry! I just got interrupted during journalling and never get to continue it for a few days... Thanks for the book.

Journal Entry 5 by wingAzukiwing at Miami, Florida USA on Saturday, December 4, 2021
Another book that has sat in my house forever! Sorry! Thankfully the Travel to Italy bookbox lets me dig up all my Italian books in my TBR pile.

The story starts with the death of Mennulara (the nickname means Almond Picker), a lifelong servant in the house of Alfallipe. While Mennulara left specific instruction for her death announcement and funeral, there is no will, which leaves the Alfallipe family rather desperate. Her death also generates a lot of gossip and recollection in the Sicilian town. Slowly, the jigsaw pieces of Mennulara's life fall in place, and a beautiful character emerges.

I have to say, the beginning of the story is rather confusing, with one after another characters getting on stage and I can't quite get their names and relationships in order. The town's opinion of the departed is rather polarized, but slowly, through the many exchanges and recollection, the story of Mennulara is told in a beautiful way.

Reserved for the Travel to Italy bookbox.

Journal Entry 6 by wingLaveggioCoffeewing at Binghamton, New York USA on Sunday, January 30, 2022
This book came home in My Armchair Travels to Italy bookbox.
Thanks for including.

Looks like a book I'll enjoy, adding to MT TBR

Journal Entry 7 by wingLaveggioCoffeewing at Binghamton, New York USA on Monday, June 20, 2022
Reading this now - then will be sent to another bookcrosser for the wishlist tag game

Journal Entry 8 by wingLaveggioCoffeewing at Binghamton, New York USA on Tuesday, June 28, 2022
If it wasn't for the wishlist tag game this book might have sat on the shelf for awhile - that said, I'm glad I read this. And I also found the characters hard to keep track of, but it didn't deter the storyline for me.

This will be headed to mrsjones for the wishlist tag game.

Released 1 mo ago (7/1/2022 UTC) at US/Canada Wishlist Tag Game, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA


sent off to mrsjones for the wishlist tag game........enjoy

2022 Keep Them Moving Release Challenge

Journal Entry 10 by mrsjones at Hamilton, Ohio USA on Thursday, July 7, 2022
Thanks for the wishlist tag!

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