Review of the English version of the novel

Read from the Blog “Translature” di Marian Altamura

 

THE_ANNWYNs_SECRET_english

I was pleased to read on the author’s blog that one of her recent books, Il Segreto degli Annwyn, has been translated from Italian into English.
The Annwyn’s Secret is a novel set in the XXIII century and the future scenario it presents is not as positive as one could possibly hope for. In fairness, some may find it not so surprising, considering the numerous red flags on matters of environment and pollution. Providing a bit of background on the events, the first pages of the book reveal that in 2022 a fatal cataclysm raged out across the planet, causing immeasurable damage and the death of millions of people. Thus, the surviving world population was forced to move to those few remaining habitable areas. However, they had to adapt severe security measures and get used to live under the constant threat of emergency occurrences.

Remarkably, Claudine’s book is not about the end of the world, there’s still a fainting hope in it. I imagined Mother Nature depicted as a woman mutilated by her children: they executed the worst of the sacrifices, and provoked irreversible damage as well as the extinction of several living species. It is impossible to turn a blind eye to the desperate and alarming message that violently comes to the surface: we must act immediately to save the planet, as failing to do so will easily turn the apocalyptic scenario into reality.

Although I am not a fan of fantasy books, the environmental concern was one of the aspects that most attracted my attention when the first Italian version of the book was published. sAt the time the events of the novel are set, the world  has also undergone several major changes, and the social, political and economic administration has fallen under the full control  of a unified system, a  Single Party, that to me inevitably echoed George Orwell’s Big Brother. There is also a unified security authority, state-controlled, which cooperates with the central government and carries on investigations on its behalf. Whereas on the one hand the unified power took the leadership and temporarily restored the order in a time of general confusion following the natural disaster, on the other hand its despotic and totalitarian character inevitably mined the ground of freedom.
The starting point of the multi-layered narrative structure can be find in the nucleus of the three main characters: Crysalis, her brother Joshua and their precious Irish friend Marcus, who seems to be constantly  looking after them with pure affection and yet discretion, thus compensating the absence of parental loving.

The genuine love between Chrysa and Joshua is the symbol of the unbreakable bond of family that goes beyond any circumstances, and although they are in their twenties, there’s still something innocently childish in their mutual behaviour, something that tends to remain unchanged in a life-long brother-sister relationship.  The geographical starting point of the novel is the pleasant village of Ascona, located in Switzerland, a place that somehow managed to preserve the beautiful vestiges of a violated nature.

After the tragic death of both parents under obscured and unresolved circumstances, Chrisa and Joshua decided to sell out the family house and live on board of the boat they inherited, the Avalon’s Mist, which their late beloved mother had called after the Island where, according to the legend,  King Arthur’s mortally wounded body sailed to. It is also said that his magic sword was forged in this enchanted and ethereal place.

The one thing that makes Chrisa different from her brother, although they had the same biological parents, is her peculiar double-nature. Unlike her brother, she was born an Annwyn: a dreamer, an over-sensitive elected creature, made of the exact same human molecular structure but gifted with a superior mental power. Apparently, the first Annwyns arrived on the planet in the 1970s. At first, they were suspiciously looked upon, they were considered anomalies to be kept under observation. However, when the sacred ancient codes were discovered, the meaning behind their presence on the hearth became clearer:  by acting as a spiritual guidance, the Annwyns’ aim is the betterment of society by educating and changing the direction of the energy of the Universe.

One night, while rambling during one of her frequent extra-corporeal adventures, Chrisa stumbles over an unknown object and, attracted by its alone of mystery, she decides to take it with her. When her spirit rejoins the body, an ordinary power for an Annwyn, she shares her finding with her brother and Marius, but the latter seems to know much more that she would have tough. It turns out that the mysterious object is a matrix vibration device that needs activation in order to work. Shortly afterwards, they find themselves trapped into an intrigued knot of events and take off to Ireland on a board of an old-fashioned aircraft. At this point, the events spread across Switzerland, Ireland and France, the three points of a mystic triangle, but at times I found that the chapter structure was a bit too fragmentary.

Chrisa, supported by other mysterious characters, will have to unravel the most ancient enigma of life:
Where do we come from, why are we here, where do we go when we die?
She finds herself struggling at times while descending deep down inside the soul of Man Kind, where she is not always able to discern Good from Bad, friend from foe.
Readers may loose the track in the intrigued maze of this enigmatic plot, and so happens to the representative members of the local authority that will give up investigating the case. Joshua, fully involved but being 100% human, appears sceptical and attracted by the unknown at the same time, but he trusts his sister and knows she’ll be able to take him off serious troubles.

There’s a multitude of characters, both human and semi-human ones, that flocks into the pages as the story moves forward, but I won’t go into too much details here because it is not my intention to unveil the surprising outcomes of the events.

I found Claudine’s writing style sophisticated, but at the same time neat and simple. The reviewing and researching behind her writing is evident, both in regards to the content (references to mythology, to the quantum theory and philosophy) and to the refined lexical selection.  Nevertheless, she maintains an informal tone throughout the book, making it easy to read and accessible, in spite of its plenty encrypted messages. This is why I would feel recommend The Annwyn’s Secret to young readers, but I think it may suit the taste of a wide range of people of all ages. I am sure that different target readers will be able to access different level of interpretations and reflections. From my perspective, there may not necessarily be specific readings for certain ages.

Claudine’s writing is imbued with feminine sensibility and acute wittiness; it reflects her hunger for knowledge, her attitude to analyse and explore reality with her critical sense of observation and self-awareness. Readers may be disappointed at the end if they expect to find all answers revealed, as clear as a cloudless sky. The epilogue is quite inconclusive and it remains pretty much wrapped up in a cloud of mystery. Nevertheless, I think that the responses to the enigmas are to be found elsewhere and not in the conclusion of this book. It encourages researching through the act of living and dreaming, and maybe the knot will be untied at some point. The book itself is a tool and should be used as such, together with other resources. I fancy finding an analogy between the power of the Annwyns and the power of literature, I feel they share the same mission on the planet (betterment), they both aim to change the direction of the energy and try to put an end to the endless struggle between Good and Evil.

You may buy the book on Amazon

 

Do you want to meet her?

 

Chrysalis will tell you her story…
after the success of the original version in Italian, the novel “The Annwyn’s Secret” is purchasable on Amazon.com in English.
Don’t miss the chance for the special discounted price for £ 7.99! Get your copy now…

 

Get your copy here on Amazon.co.uk

Copertina_Inglese_The_Annwyn's_Secret

 

By the way… if you need the original version in Italian, click on the link below.
A proposito… se desideri ordinare la versione originale in lingua italiana, accedi al link

Per ordinare la versione italiana del romanzo

copertina_finale

 

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English version: the book cover

Everything is ready … this cover is very different from the original version in Italian.
Do you like it? I find it very special B. Kiss of the Graphics Department has done a great job!

THE_ANNWYNs_SECRET_english

Tutto è pronto… questa copertina è molto diversa da quella della versione originale in lingua italiana.
Vi piace? Io la trovo molto speciale… B. Kiss del Graphics Department ha fatto un ottimo lavoro!

THE_ANNWYNs_SECRET_backcover

Claudine Giovannoni: Author Of The Month

Presentazione_Giubiasco_23.4.2015

The lovely Claudine Giovannoni, has won the spotlight on Author Of The Month for the most popular presentation on Kev’s Author Interviews in April 2015.

A picture and direct link to her book, Il Segreto degli Annwyn, (The Annwyn Secret) will be featured for a whole month on Great Indie Authors!

Claudine6 THE ANNWYN’S SECRET

Presenting, Claudine Giovannoni

CLAUDINE’S INTERVIEW

by courtesy:      Kevin Cooper Author  posted on Great Indie Authors

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The Annwyn Secret: the thrill to become a movie

 

AdaptLab: from page to screen 

This year L’immagine e la parola (Images and words)  (19 – 22 March) will be joined by a session of AdaptLab, a workshop on the adaptation of literary works for the screen, developed by TorinoFilmLab and addressing industry professionals. This major initiative from TorinoFilmLab will take place at Locarno for the very first time. AdaptLab will hold its inaugural session from 19 to 25 March, a workshop for directors and screenwriters from around the world who want to work in the field of adapting literary works for the screen. Twelve specially selected participants will be working on screen adaptations involving their own projects or based on novels chosen in advance by TorinoFilmLab. AdaptLab will follow every stage of the adaptation process, including by allowing participants to showcase their work to an audience of industry attendees at the next Meeting Event of TorinoFilmLab, scheduled for November. Participants will be mentored by three tutors who will be their guides along the complex adaptation pathway, fostering the exchange of ideas and the development of the various projects through group sessions and on-line networking. Among the books already picked out for adaptation is local Swiss writer Claudine Giovannoni’s novel Il segreto degli Annwyn (published by Ulivo, 2013).

Nadia Dresti, Delegate to the Artistic Direction and Head of International, Festival del film Locarno: “The opportunity for L’immagine e la parola to host an event of international standing such as AdaptLab is a source of considerable satisfaction for us. Thanks to funding from the Region this year we are in a position to put on L’immagine e la parola in tandem with a major event for industry professionals, raising the profile of our spring program still further.”

Carlo Chatrian, artistic director of the Locarno Film Festival: “The coming of Pawlikowski to Locarno enriches and clarifies the meaning of this year that it intends to explore the porous borders that are between word and image in motion, between the narrator who writes and that who films, between the subject of a story and that of a film. Whether in fiction or documentary, at home or abroad, Pawlikowski preserves that glossy and disillusioned glance that allows his stories to become much more than just individual stories. ”

..oOo..

AdaptLab: dalla pagina allo schermo

Quest’anno L’immagine e la parola sarà affiancata da un’importante iniziativa del TorinoFilmLab destinata ai professionisti del settore, che per la prima volta si svolgerà a Locarno. Dal 19 al 25 marzo si terrà infatti la sessione inaugurale di AdaptLab, workshop per registi e sceneggiatori provenienti da tutto il mondo che desiderano lavorare nel campo dell’adattamento cinematografico di opere letterarie, con la presenza del regista polacco Pawel Pawlikowski,

Dodici i partecipanti selezionati che lavoreranno su adattamenti per il grande schermo attraverso un proprio progetto o lavorando su romanzi pre-selezionati dal TorinoFilmLab.

AdaptLab seguirà l’intero processo di adattamento, dando la possibilità ai partecipanti di presentare i propri lavori di fronte a una platea di professionisti del settore durante il prossimo Meeting Event del TorinoFilmLab, in programma a novembre. Tre tutor affiancheranno i partecipanti, guidandoli nel processo di adattamento, promuovendo lo scambio di idee e lo sviluppo dei progetti grazie al lavoro di gruppo e a sessioni online.

Fra i libri selezionati figura anche Il segreto degli Annwyn (Ed. Ulivo, 2013) della scrittrice ticinese Claudine Giovannoni.

 

Nadia Dresti, Delegata alla Direzione artistica e Head of International: “Avere la possibilità di ospitare durante L’immagine e la parola un evento di caratura internazionale come AdaptLab è per noi motivo di grande soddisfazione. Grazie al sostegno della Regione possiamo quest’anno affiancare a L’immagine e la parola un importante appuntamento destinato ai professionisti del cinema, che conferisce ulteriore lustro al nostro evento primaverile.”

Carlo Chatrian, Direttore artistico del Festival del film Locarno: “La venuta di Pawlikowski a Locarno arricchisce e precisa il senso di questa edizione che intende esplorare le frontiere porose che stanno tra parola e immagine in movimento, tra l’io che scrive e quello che filma, tra il soggetto di un racconto e quello di un film. Che sia nella finzione o nel documentario, in patria o all’estero, Pawlikowski conserva quello sguardo lucido e disincantato che permette alle sue storie di diventare molto più che dei racconti individuali.”

The premonition… and the horror that later occurs * Premonizione… e l’orrore che poi accade

lago-maggiore-esondazione

In the novel I describe the terrible climatic disasters worldwide of 2022...  But the flooding of Lake Maggiore is unfortunately a reality today: the Ascona of Chrysalis and Josua is a debacle, and I have a strange feeling in the pit of the stomac!

[excerpt from the novel]

The boat of the two young people is anchored in the harbor of a town that, like other places on the lake side recovered after the flood, for three quarters of the year is full of animosity and fervor linked to tourism that comes there from all over the world.

The small town, which remained nearly unchanged over the past two centuries, is located on the shores of Lake Verbano. Ascona had not suffered major damage, except the sudden rise of the water. In summer, the town came alive with color and music into the early morning hours. This kept a hint of nostalgia, also broadcast several times on Unynetweb, the global news channel.

Then there are the countless villas and holiday apartments that can accommodate during the good season the property owners who are mainly members of the Institutions of Power or Control. All this contributes to the prosperity of the town which has in every corner flower beds and well maintained and luxuriant parks.

The twenty-third century had led humans to deal with drastic and sometimes terrible changes. Though two centuries before it was destroyed one third of the planet and the dead were more than 3 billion, the strength of survival implicit in the genes and DNA was allowed to re-establish a sort of community bound in the span time of about 120 years.

The Unified Power was supported by a group of philosophers, philanthropists and scientists. The Annwyn were trying to give their contribution even though many of them didn’t approve at all the methods used by the Experimental Team to maintain order and control.

Many people, in the purpose of living in peace, had adapted to fake and not to deal with ethical or political problems. A kind of no-see-no-hear-no-speak. This is also, paradoxically, a situation that recurred during the crucial moments of human evolution and therefore marking the History.

lago-maggiore-esondazione-1

Nel romanzo descrivo le terribili catastrofi climatiche mondiali del 2022…  Ma l’esondazione del lago Maggiore è purtroppo una realtà attuale: l’Ascona di Chrysalis e Josua è uno sfacelo, e mi sento una strana sensazione alla bocca dello stomaco.

[estratto dal romanzo]

La barca dei due giovani è ancorata nel porto di una cittadella che, come altri posti lacustri ricuperati dopo l’esondazione, per i tre quarti dell’anno è piena d’animosità e fervore legato al turismo che giunge lì da ogni parte del mondo.

Il piccolo paese, rimasto pressoché invariato negli ultimi due secoli, è situato sulle sponde del Lago Verbano. Ascona non aveva subito grossi danni, a parte l’improvviso innalzamento delle acque. In estate, il borgo si animava di colori e musica fino alle prime ore del mattino. Questo manteneva un certo sentore nostalgico, più volte trasmesso anche su Unynetweb, il canale di informazione globale.

Poi ci sono le innumerevoli ville ed appartamenti di vacanza che accolgono per la bella stagione i proprietari che sono principalmente membri del Potere o di istituzioni di controllo. Tutto questo contribuisce al prosperare della cittadina che presenta in ogni angolo aiuole fiorite e parchi ben curati e rigogliosi.

Il 23.mo secolo aveva portato gli umani a confrontarsi con cambiamenti drastici ed a volte terribili. Sebbene 2 secoli prima era andato distrutto un terzo del pianeta ed i morti erano stati più di 3 miliardi, la forza della sopravvivenza insita nei geni e nel DNA aveva permesso di ristabilire una sorta di collettività vincolata nel lasso di circa 120 anni.

Il Potere Unificato era sostenuto da un gruppo di filosofi, filantropi nonché scienziati. Gli Annwyn cercavano di dare il loro contributo anche se molti di loro non condividevano per nulla i metodi utilizzati dalla Squadra Sperimentale per mantenere l’ordine ed il controllo.

Molte persone, per vivere in tranquillità, si erano adattate a fingere e a non occuparsi di problemi etici o politici. Una sorta di non-vedo-non-sento-non-parlo. Anche questo è, paradossalmente, una situazione che si ripresentava durante i momenti cruciali dell’evoluzione umana segnandone di conseguenza la storia.

Claudine Giovannoni © 2014   &   photos from the web © of the author

 

The truth of the Mind

 

barca a vela

The boat of the two young people is anchored in the harbor of a town that, like other places on the lake side recovered after the flood, for three quarters of the year is full of animosity and fervor linked to tourism that comes there from all over the world.

The small town, which remained nearly unchanged over the past two centuries, is located on the shores of Lake Verbano. Ascona had not suffered major damage, except the sudden rise of the water. In summer, the town came alive with color and music into the early morning hours. This kept a hint of nostalgia, also broadcast several times on Unynetweb, the global news channel.

Then there are the countless villas and holiday apartments that can accommodate during the good season the property owners who are mainly members of the Institutions of Power or Control. All this contributes to the prosperity of the town which has in every corner flower beds and well maintained luxuriant parks.

The twenty-third century had led humans to deal with drastic and sometimes terrible changes. Though two centuries before it was destroyed one third of the planet and the dead were more than 3 billion, the strength of survival implicit in the DNA was allowed to re-establish a sort of community bound in the span time of about 120 years.

[…]