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A Woman at Bay (una Donna)

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Pages: 162

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/4/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Sibilla Aleramo

Excerpt from book: Ill THE SHADOW ON THE HOUSE IT was the third September we had passed in the South. The bathing season had been just like the preceding ones and not a single incident stands out in my memory to distinguish it from the others. It seems to me on looking back that, as far as I was concerned, the delight of being able to swim farther and more fearlessly every day alternated with the equally intoxicating joy of reading, though the latter employment often left me with a headache, and a feeling of vague dissatisfaction with myself. Of mamma, of the children, even of papa himself, I am unable to recall a single fact connected with that summer. I can't even remember how it came about that one evening there was a small reception at our house, given to some of the townspeople and a few of the neighbouring families: I know, though, that the suggestion came from papa. Three of the rooms of our apartment weredecorated for the occasion with lights and plants, and there about forty persons had assembled. There were a few Romans and Neapolitans, in whose eyes there gleamed an expression of ironical amusement at the manners of the provincials: some ponderous gentlemen who watched my father curiously in his unfamiliar aspect of geniality and good-fellowship: a few employees and the school-masters and mistresses of the district with their families. The strains of a small orchestra invited every one, old and young alike, to join in the dance. In my quality of little hostess I could hardly refuse to take a few turns around the room as well, though I did so unwillingly, as dancing always put me out of humour and made my head ache. I was the object of much attention, and the bashful manner of the young men as they drew near caused me great amusement. Between the dances, however, I found myself...  

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