La malédiction de la Madone

Philippe Vilain

September 2022 Proofs in French Literary Fiction

The true story of a young Neapolitan girl with a thirst for vengeance – at the heart of the Mafia.

In 1950s Naples, Assunta Maresca, nicknamed Pupetta, is the daughter of a domineering Mafioso. But Pupetta, “the little doll” fears nothing and no one.

At the age of nineteen, she takes part in a beauty contest where she meets Pasquale Simonetti, a dashing Camorra boss. They fall head-over-heels in love and marry quickly. Nothing can spoil the joy of the happy couple – until Pasquale is suddenly murdered just 80 days later.

Heartbroken and enraged, Pupetta will do whatever it takes to avenge him. Pupetta’s story sets the city of Naples alight, embodying the bravery, honour, passion, and moral ambiguity of this fiery, blood-soaked city.


“Poignant and poised, this novel tells the story of a female legend in Naples in the fifties…” — Transfuge