Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Wager, Donna Jo Napoli

Don Giovanni looked out the castle window over the strait that separated the island of Sicily from the mainland. He fingered the fine silk of his shirtsleeves and smiled. "The sea is bluer because it's mine." "Don't be absurd." He turned. A maidservant carried a tray into the room. The scent of honey and sheep's milk ricotta promised such sweet satisfaction that his smile lingered, despite her words. 

Hmm, I seem to be reading a lot of Donna Jo Napoli lately, even though I don't particularly like her writing. But her stories always sound so interesting.

This story is based loosely on the story of Don Giovanni de la Fortuna. Don Giovanni (no relationship to the Don Giovanni Mozart wrote his opera about) is a wealthy and handsome young man in Sicily. But when a earthquake and tsunami destroys everything he owns, he must wander as a beggar. He still has his good looks, but winter is coming, and he has nowhere to go. When a stranger offers him as much money as he wants if he doesn't wash for three years, three months, and three days, he agrees, though he knows he shouldn't accept. And if he loses, he will lose his soul. This was definitely my favorite Donna Jo Napoli book that I've read so far.

I wasn't familiar with the original myth, which you can find here. However, this was an engaging and interesting tale.

Read The Wager:

  • if you like Donna Jo Napoli
  • if you enjoy retellings of myths and fairy tales 
259 pages.

Very Good! I would recommend this book!

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