Book Review: The Oracle of Cumae, by Melissa Hardy

Image belongs to Second Story Press.

Title:  The Oracle of Cumae
AuthorMelissa Hardy
Genre:  Speculative Fiction
Rating:  3 out of 5

Mariuccia Umbellino is 99 years old when a miracle occurs, and she asks to see a priest. While her family thinks she wants to confess, Mariuccia just wants to tell someone the story of what happened years ago when she was a child in the Italian countryside. Mariuccia’s family had always been guardians of the Oracle, but one year, that guardianship entailed a lot more work than others.

When a priest and a wealthy man arrive at the family home en route to destroy the Oracle’s cave, Mariuccia and her mother sneak away to rescue the Oracle, bringing her home with them where it’s safe. Soon there are love spells with unforeseen results, strange mummies, and disembodied voices all around. It will take years for things to be set right with Mariuccia’s family.

That wasn’t a very good summary, but…I’m still not sure what the actual point (or plot) of the book was. I would have enjoyed more stories from Mariuccia’s life, instead of focusing on this one. I loved the Oracle’s sass, but really, what was the point of this book?

Melissa Hardy’s first novel was published when she was 17.  The Oracle of Cumae is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Second Story Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)

3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Oracle of Cumae, by Melissa Hardy

  1. Yeah, I had to read through the plot description twice to figure it out. I think it sounds like it might be interesting though; I like weird stories that are not easily characterized. It’s also cool that the author got her career started up so young! I remember wanting to get something published ever since I was a little kid, so I’ve got to respect young people who apply themselves like that and accomplish their dream. 🙂


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