In the Sicilian village of Roccacolomba, La Mennulara ('the woman who gathers almonds') lies dead.For more than 40 years she had been at the heart of the Alfallipe family, one of the richest families in Roccacolomba first as a humble maidservant and then rising to manager of the family estates. Now, at her death, gossip among the villagers is reaching fever pitch as they begin to wonder just how La Mennulara managed to amass such a large fortune.In this brilliant novel a bestseller in Italy and the winner of four major prizes Simonetta Agnello Hornby has created a splendid cast of characters, among them the greedy Alfallipe children hunting for Mennulara's will, and the villagers who all love to gossip. Was Mennulara a seducer, a blackmailer, a humble servant or an arrogant social climber? And why does don Vincenzo Ancona, the feared mafia boss, come to her funeral?
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