Sicily 1860. Times are changing, in Italy as well. Though Italy, the country did not exist as a whole then. On the island the aristocracy is still very important, but for how much longer. In this epic novel one follows the path of Don Fabrizio, the last prince of Salina. His adopted cousin Tancredi adapts to the new life and marries the daughter of the rich mayor of the village. The novel describes 50 years, in fragments. That way some things become very clear, other things one has to read between the lines.
Tomasi himself was from Sicily. He was one of the last old fashioned aristocrats of the island. Certainly some parts of this book must be autobiographical. He was not a writer, this is the only story he ever told. But what a masterful one, if you write only one in your life. In Italy this book has had over 70 reprints. Need I say more? I was impressed, it is a beautiful portrait of a time. Added bonus to just reading a good book, to just reading a nice story.