The Revolution of the Moon

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What to expect

From the author of the Inspector Montalbano series comes the remarkable account of an exceptional woman who rises to power in seventeenth-century Sicily and brings about sweeping changes that threaten the iron-fisted patriarchy, before being cast out in a coup after only twenty-seven days.

Sicily, April 16, 1677. From his deathbed, Charles III’s viceroy, don Angel de Guzmàn, marquis of Castel de Roderigo, names his wife, donna Eleonora, as his successor. Eleonora di Mora is a highly intelligent and capable woman who immediately applies her political acumen to heal the scarred soul of Palermo, a city afflicted by poverty, misery, and the frequent uprisings they entail.

The marquise implements measures that include lowering the price of bread, reducing taxes for large families, reopening women’s care facilities, and establishing stipends for young couples wishing to marry—all measures that were considered seditious by the conservative city fathers and by the Church. The machinations of powerful men soon result as donna Eleonora, whom the Church sees as a dangerous revolutionary, is recalled to Spain. Her rule lasted twenty-seven days—one cycle of the moon.

Based on a true story, Camilleri’s gripping and richly imagined novel tells the story of a woman whose courage and political vision is tested at every step by misogyny and reactionary conservatism.

Critics Review

  • “Garnished with sly wit and broad humor, the
    novel is a late-Renaissance caper. Grover Gardner, veteran narrator of the
    Montalbano series, delivers a marvelous performance, serving up the many
    Spanish and Italian phrases con brio. Just listening to him uttering the names
    of such characters as Don Angel de Guzmàn, marquis de Castel de Roderigo, is a
    joy in itself.”

    Washington Post (audio review)
  • “Grover Gardner’s mastery of witty narration adds relish to this historical novel…Gardner lithely delivers the delightful contemporary vocabulary, which elevates the entertainment value of this age-old story of dirty politics. His effervescent voice becomes almost angelic as he recounts Dona Elenora’s elegant words, laced with Spanish phrases. The lush Italian names are delivered smoothly, allowing the listener to envision pompous, power-hungry men and the compassionate woman who called the shots for twenty-seven days.”

  • “Suspense, surprises, and courtly intrigues abound in this story of power that also doubles as a tribute to women and their sensibilities.”

    Panorama (Italy)
  • “Eleonora, a woman forgotten by history, will come alive to the reader. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to discover a remarkable, forgotten woman.”

    Historical Novels Review
  • “[Camilleri’s] sly, wry approach to matters of morality, politics, crime, and sexual dynamics seasons a stew of facts and fiction to perfection.”

    Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association
  • “A tragicomic parable of justice…Camilleri laces this true tale of exemplary leadership with humor that is sometimes farcical and slapstick, often simply wry. But underneath the geniality lies an all-too-plausible chronicle of entrenched financial misappropriation and sexual abuse…A novel which lightly but elegantly revives an obscure historical moment.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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