The Sicilian Wife
The Sicilian Wife is both a literary novel and a mystery. Fulvia, the Mafia Princess, must be a dutiful daughter or the family will be dishonoured. Though she eventually escapes and makes a new life in Canada, she is betrayed and then her husband is murdered on the Sicilian coast.
The police Chief investigating the case is Marisa, who faces a station house of skeptical men as well as confronting Fulvia’s uncle, the boss of bosses.
Interweaving folk tales, classical allusions, and recent Italian history with the conventions of the detective story in this powerful new novel, Caterina Edwards uses the literary noir to question the very possibility of justice and free will.
Award-winning writer Caterina Edwards’s first novel, The Lion’s Mouth, was translated into French and will appear in Italian, as will her non-fiction book, Finding Rosa. Her radio drama The Great Antonio was chosen to represent Canada in an international radio competition, and a collection of critical essays on her work was the first book published by Guernica Editions in its series on Canadian writers. She lives in Edmonton.
"The Sicilian Wife is both a political thriller and an absorbing psychological page-turner. It is set firmly in Sicilian noir and yet travels a Canadian immigrant's dark childhood past. This is a novel, like Sicily herself: full of marvelous contradictions and beauty. Of course, I raced along with the police investigation. I enjoyed each Sicilian proverb and delicacy. But in its final pages I'm sure I could taste the sting in the Sicilian dust." —Peter Oliva, Calgary, Alberta
"A gritty, passionate novel, The Sicilian Wife unravels the complicated world of revenge and protection that is at the heart of the cosca, the spiky artichoke of clan that supersedes conventional law and order. In a shadowy web of lies and illusion, an Italian-Canadian exile and a determined Italian female police chief unveil a tangled lattice of cause and effect.
Imbued with tales ancient and modern, The Sicilian Wife gleams with silence, cunning, and courage. This is a brilliant portrait of the stuttering heart of secrets and sensuality." —Aritha van Herk, Calgary, Alberta
"In this riveting mystery, Caterina Edwards keeps the tension ratcheted high as she weaves together the tale of a Sicilian woman determined to escape the bonds of her Mafia father's criminal family and the puzzle facing a female police inspector charged with investigating two tragic deaths in Italy. A gripping read that will keep you turning pages." —Holly Robinson, author of Beach Plum Island and Haven Lake
"In The Sicilian Wife, Caterina Edwards has created a multi-layered, dark novel full of the heat and light of the Sicilian landscape in contrast to the cold Canadian urban winter. Out of each landscape the determined desires and destinies of two women cross: Fulvia the Mafia princess who has sought to escape and live in her own fairy tale; and Marisa the police chief who wants to shine cold light on the naked truth and unravel the complicated and compromised murderous past. A compelling read from start to finish. —Carmelo Militano, author of Sebastiano's Vine
"A Mafia princess. A charred body. Destiny. The literary noir of the year.”—Septimus Black