Fiction. Italian Studies. IPPY Award Gold Medalist for Historical Fiction. LA BRIGANTESSA is based on true events in the aftermath of Italy's 1861 Unification, a turbulent period known as "The Decade of Fire" (1860-1870), when scores of brigands rebelled against the harsh policies imposed by the new government, which in turn ordered the destruction of these outlaws and anyone harbouring them. Gabriella Falcone is a peasant girl who works for Don Simone, the parish priest. She is forced to flee her hamlet of Camini in 1862 after stabbing Alfonso Fantin, a wealthy landowner who sexually assaulted her. Devastated to leave her fiancé Tonino, and knowing her fate will be life imprisonment at best if apprehended, she allows the priest to lead her through the harsh Aspromonte mountain range to seek refuge in an isolated monastery. They soon discover that Fantin has survived and is employing the forces of law to pursue Gabriella and bring her to justice. Gabriella and Don Simone continue their journey to seek yet another safe haven but soon fall into the hands of brigands. Gabriella is catapulted into a world she has only ever heard about in nervous whispers, a world where right and wrong, justice and vengeance take on new meanings, and where the boundaries between good and evil are blurred. Gabriella is drawn into the role of brigantessa and discovers that the convictions she once held dear no longer have a place in this wild, unlawful territory.
Rosanna Micelotta Battigelli was born in Italy and immigrated to Canada with her family at three years of age. Rosanna started teaching children from Kindergarten to Grade 8 in both the English and French Immersion sectors in 1981, and has four provincial Best Practice Teaching Awards in recognition of her early literacy strategies and other initiatives. An alumna of the Humber School for Writers, her fiction has appeared in a dozen Canadian anthologies, including Mamma Mia: Good Italian Girls Talk Back (2004) and A Second Coming: Canadian Migration Fiction (2016). Since retiring from teaching in June 2015, Rosanna is pursuing her literary goals full-time. LA BRIGANTESSA is her debut novel. She lives in Sudbury, Ontario.Author City: SUDBURY, ON CAN