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Book of the Month: October

It is officially the month of October when 31 days of Halloween appears on our television screens, and all of the monsters and ghouls make their appearance in the form of characters on shows and movies, as well as roaming the streets as children and adults get pumped up for the festivities that are about to begin. That being said the book of the month for October combines a fictionalized novel that is inspired by a real person who was an Italian medium.

Witch of Napoli by Michael Schmicker takes place in Italy 1899 where Alessandra Poverelli levitates a table during a seance in Naples. A skeptical, Jewish psychiatrist Camillo Lombardi comes to Naples to investigate the famous Alessandra and her so called powers. But when she ends up materializing the ghost of his dead mother, Camillo risks his own reputation and fortune to travel the continent to test the powers that Alessandra possesses. In the process of attempting to understand the powers she has, Camillo, with the help of Alessandra, rewrites everything he knew about science. And with the help of his fee, Alessandra will be able to flee from her sadistic and abusive husband Pigotti, and be able to start a brand new life in Rome. While newspapers all over Europe write about her and her powers, Nigel Huxley is not convinced of her. Instead he believes her to be another Italian trickster. While Nigel is trying to discredit Alessandra by plotting against her to trap and expose her, the Vatican quietly attempts to dig up any of her dark childhood secrets to discredit her supernatural powers. All while this is happening, her husband Pigotti has been tracking her down to kill her.

The novel is inspired by the true life story of the Italian medium Eusapia Palladino (1854-1918), as well as the battle that occurred during the 19th century between Science and religion over the possibility that there is life after death.

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