Historical Saga

I leoni di Sicilia

(The Florios – Sicily's Lions)

Casa Editrice Nord, May 2019, pp.448

THE BESTSELLING ITALIAN BOOK OF 2019

#1 Top Ten Bestseller List after 1 year from the publication date

Over 600,000 copies sold– 32 editions

The saga of a great Sicilian family who, in just over a century, experienced fame, wealth and power, but was also engulfed in love affairs and betrayals, dark secrets and cruel acts of revenge. A story both epic and intimate, bathed in the colors of the Mediterranean and sparked by overwhelming passions. An extraordinary story, told by an extraordinary writer.

Full English translation available

From the 1800s to the 1930s, the Florios are the «uncrowned kings of Sicily»: restless and ambitious, single-minded and determined to be richer and more powerful than anybody else. They start as grindingly poor spice sellers, but they quickly move on to tuna fishing, to foundries and finally to the Marsala wine that conquers the world. Shrewd businessmen and entrepreneurs, the Florio men are also stubborn, arrogant, philanderers and slaves to passions and they often find themselves forced to choose between ambition and sacrifice. Strong and resolute, the Florio women may be caring mothers, alluring mistresses or wounded wives, but they always strive to find their place in the world. From Vincenzo, the founder of the Florio empire, to Ignazio, his grandson, who squanders the family fortune on legendary parties; from Giovanna, iron-willed but love-starved, to the legendary Donna Franca, idolized by kings and poets, the author draws on history with both hands, dispels the mists of time and restores the Florios’ extraordinary, contradictory and fascinating vitality.

Casa Editrice Nord, May 2019, pp.448

  • “It’s been a long time since I’ve read a novel like this: a great story and great literature. Events and human emotions are supported by solid, mature writing filled with passion and grace. Stefania Auci has written a wonderful, unforgettable novel.”

    Nadia Terranova, bestselling author

  • “The novel weaves together historical events with the private lives of the Florios, transporting the reader into a fascinating world of powerful personalities.”

    La Lettura”, Corriere della Sera

  • “A legendary family. A riveting account of public, private and moral history.”

    Vanity Fair

  • A thrilling story of ambitious, driven men, women who love deeply and sons destined to fight for the family brand, set in a Palermo shaken by the events of 1818 and the Italian unification in 1861. A true, riveting story that keeps you absorbed until the final line. A TV series is a must.”

    Luciana Littizzetto, Italian humorist, comedian and bestselling author

  • Definitely the book of the summer! I’m volunteering to turn it into a TV series!

    Alessandra Mastronardi, Italian award-winning actress

  • I was so engrossed that I missed my flight, unable to tear myself away from the page, even though I was sitting outside the gate. One could say that the missed flight is my review.

    Pietrangelo Buttafuoco, il Fatto Quotidiano

  • Visual writing that plunges you into the locations of the story, doesn’t wallow in sentimentality and is always very crisp and somewhat ruthless. There are echoes of The Leopard and of the historical novels by Camilleri.”

    Famiglia Cristiana

  • Perhaps it’s the sober, elegant prose, or else the subject matter that takes us back to the Belle Époque… this novel grabs you on the first page and never lets you go.

    “ttL”, La Stampa

  • A wonderful novel, a great story and great literature. The style is both delicate and vigorous, filled with passion and romanticism.”

    Libero

  • “For fans of big, meaty epics chock full of drama and intriguing characters, Auci’s fictionalized tale of the real-life Florios delivers in spades.”

    Booklist

Rights Sold

Albania: Botimet Living; World Arabic Rights: Al Arabi Publishing; Brazil: Harper Collins Brazil (two-book deal); Bulgary: Lemur Books (two-book deal); China: Shanghai Joint Publishing Company (Simplified Chinese); Czech Rep: Metafora; World English Rights: Harper Collins (two-book deal); Estonia: Varrak; Finland: Sitruuna Kustannus; France: Albin Michel (two-book deal); Germany: Goldmann/PRH (two-book deal); Greece: Klidarithmos; Hungary: Europa; Iran: Houpaa Books; Israel: Yedioth; Lithuania: Baltos lankos; The Netherlands: Cargo/De Bezige Bij; Poland: W.A.B./Foksal; Portugal: Presença; Romania: Nemira; Russia: Eksmo (two-book deal); Serbia: Laguna; Slovakia: Grada; World Spanish Rights: Grijalbo/PRH (two-book deal).

 

TV series rights sold.

Stefania Auci

Stefania Auci, a Trapani-born, Palermo-adopted teacher, has been writing for literary blogs and online publications for a long time. She is the author of two commercial women’s fiction novels. Her passion for the Florio family knows no bounds: after reading every book and every publication about them, she sifted through antique stores and flea markets to find the threads of history that unravel in clothes, songs, letters, tin cans and bottles of perfume and Marsala, trying to show how extraordinary, contradictory and compelling their story still is. The second volume featuring the Florio dynasty will be published in 2021.

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