Bookworm, writer, radio host—I blog about history, fiction, and publishing in the Internet Age. You can find the full blog on my website. This space is for books.
Interesting look at the late 19th-century phenomenon of spiritualism, as exemplified by Alessandra Poverelli, a medium from lower-class Naples who may (or may not) have psychic powers but has certainly attracted the attention of Tommaso Labella—the narrator, a young photojournalist on the make.
Halfway through, I still can't tell you whether Alesandra is psychic or a clever trickster—although it's true that I wouldn't even if I could. But this is a good read: well written despite a few editing glitches and quite out of the common way. The author is a journalist, which contributes a good deal to the book's casual combination of gossip and skepticism. I'm really enjoying it—more than I expected to.