How would it be if four lunatics went on a tremendous adventure, reshaping their pasts and futures as they went, including killing Mussolini? What if one of those people were a fascinating, forgotten aristocratic assassin and the others a fellow life co-patient, James Joyce’s daughter Lucia, another the first psychoanalysis patient, known to history simply as ‘Anna O,’ and finally 19th Century Paris’s Queen of the Hysterics, Blanche Wittmann? That would be extraordinary, wouldn’t it? How would it all be possible? Because, as the assassin Lady Violet Gibson would tell you, those who are confined have the very best imaginations.
Well, where do I start ?
Lucia Joyce, daughter of the famous James Joyce, is in an asylum. It’s here she meets Lady Violet Gibson. Violet is here as she had shot Mussolini, intending to kill him, but just got his nose…(this is all true, I had to look her up after reading Saving Lucia). She tends to be ‘emotional’ and as Mussolini forgave her, she has been sent to the asylum, rather than prison or firing squad.
As these aging women become friends, Lucia is writing down Violet’s story….
We mustn’t forget the other women here too….Anna O and Blanche..
What follows is a trip through the imagination, of what is, was and could have been, as seen through the eyes of these incredible women. It reads like a written daydream, it flits about like Violet’s passerines telling their incredible stories.
It can feel a little jumbled, but this is how we think and once you are into the rhythm, you’ll fall in love with amazing book and the women within. A book to treasure.
Thank you so much to Jordan Taylor-Jones and Bluemoose Books for the opportunity to read Saving Lucia for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.