Grazia Deledda: Marianna Sirca (Marianna Sirca)

The latest addition to my website is Grazia Deledda‘s Marianna Sirca. The book is set in Deledda’s native Sardinia. The eponymous heroine has worked all her life, obeying orders from first her father and then looking after her priest-uncle. The agreement was that she would look after her uncle and then would inherit his estate on his death. At the beginning of the book she has now inherited and is nominally a free woman, at the age of thirty. At this time she meets Simone Sole again. He too had worked for the priest as a boy but then left to become a bandit but a not very good one, as he will not spill blood and is often reluctant to steal. It is clear that, though he is younger than her, there is an attraction between the two. She is now free and can marry whom she wants but it is made clear to her by her father and older cousin that marrying Simone would be totally unacceptable. Both Simone and Marianna struggle with their consciences and their nearest and dearest about what they should do. Is Marianna really free or she is still very much beholden to the male-dominated society in which she lives?

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