The Contessa's Legacy

A Novella

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
82 Pages
Reviewed on 05/15/2024
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Nora D’Ecclesis is an American bestselling and award winning author. Her international Amazon Bestselling Audiobook "Spiritual Portals: A Historical Perspective" published by Blackstone Audio Publishing. "Multicultural Mindfulness: Nourishing the Soul " is also a First Place Gold Winner in Spring, 2022 TheBookFest award.

Her published non-fiction include paperbacks/ebooks on topics such as time management, personal cyber security password log, guided visualizations, gratitude/equanimity journaling and zen meditation. Nora was the Solo Medalist in Spirituality from the New Apple Literary Award.

She added novelist to her list with the publication of “Twin Flames” written with her Co-Author, William Forstchen who is a NYT #1 bestselling novelist. Nora is a graduate of Kean University. She has a long history of presenting events, retreats and seminars focused on wellness and stress reduction techniques. She enjoys kayaking and hiking. Nora lives with her family and wonderful dogs in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Luwi Nyakansaila for Readers' Favorite

In the year 79 AD, a family was celebrating a union when Mount Vesuvius erupted, resulting in the deaths of thousands of people. However, some members of the family survived and went on to thrive in the distant future, with the help of ancestors like Grandmother Angelina, who married a count and became the Contessa. The Contessa's Legacy: A Novella by Nora D'Ecclesis recounts the stories of her lineage to the present day in modern America. The book illustrates how the Contessa embraced her Italian heritage and passed it on to her children, instilling in them values of family, love, and tradition. Despite facing struggles and challenges that tested their will and resilience, the family persevered, learning the importance of unity, compassion, and endurance. They went through both devastating tragedies and moments of joy, navigating the complexities of life. Nevertheless, the enduring legacy of the Contessa continued to inspire and shape them.

The Contessa's Legacy is a captivating story that beautifully portrays the value of family lineage. The narrative is emotionally rich and historically significant, exploring familial connections that transcend time and generations. The themes of family, tradition, compassion, and perseverance are interwoven throughout the story, showcasing the strength and values that are passed down from one generation to the next. The book is a testament to the power of heritage and love in shaping individuals' lives and inspiring them to overcome challenges with grace and determination. Readers will also get a glimpse into Italian cuisine and traditions, as well as social issues such as bullying, mental disorders, suicide, environmental protection, and slavery. Anyone who loves uplifting family stories about resilience and empathy will find this book engaging, as each generation has its own unique struggles and experiences to share.

Pikasho Deka

The Contessa's Legacy by Nora D'Ecclesis follows the story of different generations of an Italian family throughout two millennia. The book opens with the devastating eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which forced the surviving members of the Salacia family to leave Pompeii and start their lives anew in Naples. During the dawn of the twentieth century, a count inherited the Salacia Villa, which, after his death, was passed on to Contessa Angelina. However, Angelina had to seek her destiny in America as her life was in danger in Italy. Angelina and her grandchildren have a very different immigrant experience in America, with each passing generation becoming more and more progressive. As life's struggles and unexpected tragedies continue, Angelina's grandchildren do their best to ensure better lives for their children.

Nora D'Ecclesis paints a vivid portrait of a generational family saga that offers a window to see how each passing generation perceives the world differently than the previous one. The Contessa's Legacy showcases the different facets of the American immigrant experience, each more distinct than the other. I'm amazed at how D'Ecclesis managed to tell the stories of people from multiple generations of an Italian-American family within such a limited word count. The author uses a minimalistic prose style and packs a lot into a fast-paced narrative to deliver an epic and engaging tale that celebrates the resilient nature of the human spirit. The characters are compelling, but this is primarily a theme-driven story and is all the more enjoyable for that. While Lydia's fate might break your heart, Angelina's story will inspire a broad range of readers. Highly recommended.

Doreen Chombu

The Contessa's Legacy by Nora D'Ecclesis is a captivating story that follows the struggles and triumphs of a family through generations, from Pompeii to America. It highlights the enduring importance of love, tradition, and gratitude in the face of adversity. The story begins with a family miraculously surviving the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Generations after the Renaissance, a noblewoman from this lineage, the Contessa, moves to America after the sudden death of her husband and fears for her family's life. Her offspring carry the traditions of her Italian heritage and love of pizza to the next generation. The story covers various topics such as bullying, suicide, environmental protection, religion, and many more. It delves into different eras and social dynamics. However, one thing remains constant in this family - their love for one another. The story is a beautiful tribute to the enduring power of family bonds and the importance of cherishing and preserving one's cultural heritage.

The Contessa's Legacy celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring legacy that lives on through the ages. The book explores themes of culture and values, and getting to know the characters was very interesting. The story is well-crafted and has elements of realism that evoke nostalgia and make you reflect on significant historical moments. I loved that Nora D'Ecclesis paid meticulous attention to details and created well-developed characters. Readers will relate to each character and their struggles and find solace in the fact that they are not alone. The book also explores aspirations and dreams, inspiring readers to envision their future and motivating them to reach their goals. I enjoyed this book because it entertained me and inspired introspection.

Jennie More

The Contessa's Legacy by Nora D'Ecclesis is a story about a wealthy family who lived in Pompeii until it was devastated by the Vesuvius eruption in 79 AD. Some family members escaped to Naples and rebuilt, while others perished. Centuries later, descendants of the people from the fallen Pompeii traveled to America to build their legacy there. The family leaders attempt to balance keeping their Italian traditions alive and helping their children fit in and thrive in America, a country not their own. This story represents how family, heritage, friendship, and love transcend seas and time. There is an emphasis on the growing and preparation of food and the sharing of meals. The tradition of breaking bread symbolizes the unification and peace in families despite the prejudices and injustices they experience individually in the world.

The Contessa's Legacy by Nora D'Ecclesis is absorbing, beautifully written, and heartwarming. I loved this book because of its emphasis on family, tradition, and home, all of which are the cornerstones of a thriving society. It celebrates good family values. Although it is a novella, I felt like I knew this family and the characters well, which is a testament to the skillful writing by D'Ecclesis. She shared enough to draw me in and keep me engaged, enjoying every piece of information about the history and experiences of the characters. I enjoyed the focus on Italy and learning about the significance of food in celebrations and family get-togethers. The Contessa’s Legacy is well-structured, easy to read, delightful, fascinating, and timeless. It is the kind of book you can pick in any decade, and the plot will remain entertaining, and the core message will remain relevant.