Madonna of the Eucalypts


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5 out of 5

"At the tree's heart stood the miniature statue of the Virgin Mary, her blue dress faded and her halo of stars askew. She stood beneath a tepee made from pieces of bark and fastened at the top with string. Around her feet were vestiges of faded, dead flowers…" In 1900 the Aeolian island of Salina is a small sunlit paradise of fruit trees, vines and fishing boats. When the life of their new-born baby Delfina is saved, Angelina and Fortunato give thanks for the miracle to the island s patron saint, the Madonna del Terzito. Delfina grows into a beautiful young woman. When she marries Nino, her childhood sweetheart, it is against the wishes of his ferocious mother Ludevina. She is bereft when he leaves for Australia to start a new life for them. And by the time she arrives in the stark landscape and scorching sun of outback Mildura, with their two daughters, she carries a terrible secret in her heart that will haunt her all the days of her life.


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