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Extended Audio Sample The Blind Contessas New Machine: A Novel Audiobook, by Carey Wallace Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (982 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Carey Wallace Narrator: Aasne Vigesaa Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2010 ISBN: 9781441881366
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Carolina Fantoni, a young contessa in nineteenth-century Italy, is going blind. But nobody believes her: neither her parents, nor her fiancé, the town’s most sought-after bachelor. Only her friend Turri, the eccentric local inventor, understands. But as darkness erases her world, Carolina discovers one place she can still see—in her dreams. In them, she can not only see, but fly, exploring new worlds in her own mind.

Losing her sight isolates Carolina. Even writing letters with pen and ink proves almost impossible—until Turri invents a new machine: the world’s first typewriter. His gift ignites a passionate love affair that will mark both of their lives forever.

Based on the true story of the blind woman who inspired the invention of the typewriter, The Blind Contessa’s New Machine is an iridescent jewel of a novel that celebrates the triumph of the imagination and proves that love is the mother of invention.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Wallace has a smooth style and a sure hand in combining near tragedy with whimsy, whether she’s detailing Carolina and Pietro’s social circle, the state of scientific knowledge, or the progression of Carolina’s blindness. Secondary characters, including Carolina’s not-so loyal servant girl, Liza, are sketched with hints of a darker, deeper psychology. Despite its relative brevity, this is a work of surprising insight, humor, and heart.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • Selected for the July 2010 Indie Next List
  • Nominated for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberly | 2/18/2014

    " I absolutely loved this book....until the end. Worst ending ever. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn B. | 1/29/2014

    " I love a love story . This delightful little book is full of descriptions allowing you to enter into Carolina's world of blindness and privy to her love affair with Turri, the inventor of the typewriter. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 1/25/2014

    " Amazing little book. Wonderful writing and a moving story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy T | 1/23/2014

    " I found this book to be sad and interesting at the same time. I like how it held a slight mystery feeling throughout the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susie | 1/22/2014

    " Enjoyable audiobook and interesting and satisfying historical fiction imagining an extended story based on a real story of how the typewriter was invented. Something I especially liked about this story was not that it focused so much on the invention but more on Carolina's blindness and her personal experience with that. It was a kind of description that was as personally an intriguing to me as the book Blindness by Saramego but a completely different kind of story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Kooistra | 1/13/2014

    " Well written - fable like story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandra Shanti | 1/2/2014

    " Great summer read. Very descriptive of how it feels to lose one's sight but still see in her dreams. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy Spencer | 11/29/2013

    " Oh my goodness, I didn't know I still had this listed. I read this so long ago now it seems. I remember liking it. I especially liked the little fun fact of knowing how the typewriter was invented... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill Strouse | 11/28/2013

    " Would not have chose this on my own but it was a book club pick. Easy read kind of fairly tale-ish (which is what the review said). Didn't realize this is a mostly true story until I had already read it. Good break from my usual. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rasika | 11/24/2013

    " Such a beautiful, fantastical delight. For lovers of fairy tales and the magic of invention. I read this in two sittings, and then read it again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adrianna Wright | 11/13/2013

    " I was happily carried along by this delightful tale until I was abruptly dropped by the ending, which did not seem plausible or likely to me at all. After enjoying the book so much up until that point, I was seriously disgruntled by the lack of a proper resolution! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elisabeth | 10/24/2013

    " It started off with so much promise and ended too abruptly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 7/9/2013

    " This historical fiction novel, based on one of the inventors of the typewriter & carbon paper is pure delight!! It is a feast for the senses, imagination, heart and mind. I absolutely adored reading this jewel of a novel!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nichole | 6/25/2013

    " I always like to read a romance close to Valentine's Day. This was short and sweet. I liked it, and it did satisfy my need for romance, but had a predictable and somewhat unsatisfying ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Claire | 3/27/2013

    " I didn't like the ending, but is that possible? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tina | 1/12/2013

    " Read for book club. Looking forward to the discussion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 9/12/2012

    " Wonderful imagery. Delightful little book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lucky | 4/22/2012

    " I really enjoyed this book! Read it in one sitting. I cried a little, laughed a lot, and in the last few pages became very angry. I was left feeling disappointed and annoyed, as is usually the case with stories based on real life. All I all I say it's worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Malia | 4/20/2012

    " Very different from what I read, but I like it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandra | 10/30/2011

    " This is a haunting, lyrical, evocative novel, one of the best I've read this year. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terry | 9/18/2011

    " I enjoyed this book very much. With its lyrical prose and vivid descriptions, it swept me into feeling what it might be like to go blind. The book had a definite fairy tale feel to it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 6/29/2011

    " I loved this. Is the tale true about the invention of the typewriter? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elisa | 6/22/2011

    " Stumbled upon this book at the library. I love perusing the displays the librarians create! Just started the novel and am totally entranced. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracyteacher05 | 6/3/2011

    " The narration of this book made me feel the Contessa going blind. Excellent description, and by the end of it, I wanted to know more about her love interest, the love letters she exchanged with Turri and what happened to her.

    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 5/24/2011

    " Not what I was expecting from just reading the title and end note. Not a historical novel. Well told story however. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanne | 5/23/2011

    " eh, I found it a little disappointing, no surprises in the plot and the writing was pretty straightforward fiction fare. But it was an interesting historical story and an enjoyable read - and a short one! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn | 5/16/2011

    " I love a love story . This delightful little book is full of descriptions allowing you to enter into Carolina's world of blindness and privy to her love affair with Turri, the inventor of the typewriter. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jec | 5/11/2011

    " if i could give this book 6 stars i would. a stunning book by a first time author. i took it everywhere to keep reading....an ending you will never expect....don't miss this little treasure. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruby | 5/10/2011

    " Proportedly based on the true story of the invention of the typewriter. Interesting but sad story--so many bad marriages dictated by rigid social conventions of the day that separated people by class. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tif | 5/9/2011

    " 4 stars until the very end. I felt the ending was rather abrupt. I felt a bit cheated. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 5/4/2011

    " It was sweet, clean (free from profanity) and very tastefully done considering it involved adultery.
    I really enjoyed this book. I didn't "crave" reading it as I do some books but it certainly kept me coming back.
    I will definitely be reading the authors future books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 4/23/2011

    " A sweet love story set in 19th century Italy. I thought the writing was beautiful. The story is kind of sad, but very enjoyable to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 4/11/2011

    " Amazing little book. Wonderful writing and a moving story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 3/26/2011

    " This book is whimsical in the best way. Absolutely loved it! "

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About the Author
Author Carey Wallace

Carey Wallace grew up in Michigan and has worked as a waitress, art studio manager, private biographer, and lady’s maid to an automotive heiress. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

About the Narrator

Aasne Vigesaa lives in Springfield, Illinois, with her husband, James, their daughter Willa, and two dogs. When she is not narrating, she enjoys acting and teaching yoga.