The Inheritance tells the story of a family disintegrating from conflicting loyalties in Calabria, southern Italy. Set during the period 1897 to 1913, the region was subject to earthquakes and tsunamis; the land was harsh and poverty the norm. Superstition clashed with religion and a class system ruled the people. Calabria is the perfect backdrop for the tragedy that unfolds in The Inheritance.
Caterina is an atypical woman, and The Inheritance chronicles her life from birth to young womanhood. Born with an inheritance of loss into a society that has predetermined what she can and cannot do, she vows to live a life of her choosing. Caterina refuses to allow the limits of her gender, the constraints of her class and the demands imposed by those in power to stand in her way. Caterina remains steadfast in her commitment to become the woman she imagines. Her decisions ignite conflicts and fuel a chain of events that result in dire consequences for all whose path she crosses.
Thanks so much for being here today, Marianne!
How have family mysteries impacted your life?
a). Prompted me to study ancestral history
b). Influenced my travels
c). Inspired my writing
Nana Caterina, my paternal grandmother, was born in 1889 in an isolated mountain village in Calabria, a region in southern Italy. Leaving loved ones behind, she boarded a steamship in 1912, journeyed as a steerage passenger across the Atlantic Ocean, landed at Ellis Island, New York, settled in Northern Ontario, Canada, married my grandfather and raised nine children that included my late father. She never returned to Calabria and learning about her early life compelled me to act on the above.
What would stop you from going home?
Intrigue about answering this question spurred my genealogical research and drove me to travel to Calabria twice. On my first trip, I visited the place of my grandmother’s birth, scoured the local cemetery and obtained documents informing me about her past.
To this day and despite ongoing efforts, however, the reasons why my Nana Caterina never went home remain shrouded in mystery.
How do you deal with your obsessions?
Over the years, I imagined a tale about a young woman born in Calabria during the late 1880s who confronted unfortunate circumstances that forced her to leave her family with the understanding she’d never see them or the land of her birth again.
The Inheritance is a historical fiction. It is set from 1897 to 1913 in Calabria, a region in southern Italy. It tells the story of Caterina, an atypical peasant woman who challenges social norms and the tragic chain of events her determination to live a life of her choosing ignites.
Writing The Inheritance was the product of my obsession.
|Nana Caterina and her husband, my grandfather Pietro Perri.|
Taken September 21, 1915 on the day they were married in Canada.
Now Marianne wants to know:
What are your family mysteries?
Marianne Perry welcomes your comments below and may be contacted at her website where she blogs about writing, travel, family dynamics and genealogy. http://www.marianneperry.ca
Praise for The Inheritance
“Like a classic star-crossed love story, the novel is written with lush detail enriched with both likable and loathsome characters. In particular, Perry builds strong and decisive female characters. Although the key action doesn’t occur until the final chapters, Perry’s exquisite descriptions will transport readers back to the time and place of Lorenzo and Caterina’s romance-the brilliant colors in villa gardens, the smells and tastes of decadent food, and the menacing sounds of the ocean during an earthquake. After the engrossing storylines come to an abrupt end, a cliff-hanger will leave readers anxious for a sequel to continue Lorenzo and Caterina’s tragic story. Solid characters and vivid imagery capture the mood, traditions and uncertainty of the time.” – Kirkus Reviews, December 7, 2012
“The premise for The Inheritance was inspired by the author’s genealogical research in Calabria, Italy. Marianne Perry’s research trip to Cosenza province is obvious in her vivid descriptions of the setting of “The Inheritance”. The landscape, colours, culture, native food, plants and flowers, and even the weather are all vibrantly described……Perry deftly weaves secrets and betrayals throughout the entire book, not only among the two families but the supporting characters, as well….Marianne Perry weaves a very vivid tale that might well have happened hundreds of times over the centuries. “The Inheritance” will definitely make you think about how our ancestors came to be aboard a transatlantic vessel for a perilous three week voyage to being a new life.” – Amanda Morehouse, The Ontario-Canada Genealogical Society, August 2014
About the Author
Family dynamics, genealogical research to solve ancestral mysteries and international travel are Marianne Perry’s priorities. A second-generation Canadian-Italian, she is the author of The Inheritance, a historical fiction/romance set in Calabria, southern Italy from 1897 to 1913 that was inspired by her grandmother’s early life. With a thirty-year career in education and communications, Marianne holds a Master of Education Degree from The University of Western Ontario (Canada). A past member of the Board of Trustees, the Canadian National Arts Centre Corporation, she has also published non-fiction genealogical articles throughout North America. As a girl, Marianne fell in love with The National Geographic Magazine and dreamt of exploring the world. With her January 2014 visit to Antarctica, she achieved her goal of stepping foot on every continent. The mother of two grown children, Marianne and her husband live on the shores of the St. Mary’s River, which drains Lake Superior on the outskirts of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. She continues to research her family’s history and write non-fiction genealogical articles. In addition, she is working on her second novel and planning further adventures.
Marianne blogs about genealogy, travel, family and writing on her website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Goodreads.
The Inheritance is on a blog tour!