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"What a beautiful book ... This is historical fiction at its best." - Daisy H. Read her full review here.

"Juliet Grames tells a hauntingly beautiful tale that transcends time, continents, and generations to intricately link the many misfortunes and mishaps that lead to barely inescapable deaths for Mariastella Fortuna ... It was absolutely magical! Stella will be a book I recommend for ages to come!!" - Leesa B. Read her full review here.

"The Fortuna family had me immersed in their rural Italian culture early in and made me want to visit their country. ...This book taught me a lot." - Dawn D. Read her full review here.

"Juliet Grames effortlessly weaves together a story about the incredible sacrifices women made in order to survive - war, marriage and the complexities of life. ...I highly recommend this book - it's comfort food for the soul!" - Shelly Z. Read her full review here.

"⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna tells an epic story of family, journeys, and faith." - Eva E. Read her full review here.

"Strong character development is one of the greatest gifts an author gives a reader; the chance to understand the motivations of another. For me, a richly drawn character is even more important than a compelling plot. Luckily in The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna, we get both." - Daisy H. Read her full review here.

"The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames is, in many ways, a masterpiece. ...I was AMAZED Grames’ attention to detail and dedication to filling out the family tree through an entire century. I loved a lot about this book, including little snippets of humor" - Layne G. Read her full review here

"Perhaps the greatest compliment I can give The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna is to tell you that the moment I finished reading, I longed to begin anew. It is so artfully and eloquently written that I felt as if I were an extension of the Fortuna family - a fly on the wall for the good and abundantly bad moments of their lives." - Nicole K. Read her full review here.

"It’s a beautifully written novel, with well developed characters and a lively, lilting narrative voice reminiscent of Louis de Bernieres." - Bryn T. Read her full review here.

"This debut novel from Juliet Grames reads as though it has been written by a seasoned best-selling author - something I have very little doubt Grames is on her way to being." - Heather B. Read her full review here.

"All in all, this book blew me away. It kept me reading, it threw me headlong into so many emotions that I was not expecting upon first picking up this book. If you want to be floored by an intricate study of humanity and family, definitely pick up The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames." - Jenn C. Read her full review here.



For Stella Fortuna, death has always been a part of life. Stella’s childhood is full of strange, life-threatening incidents—moments where ordinary situations like cooking eggplant or feeding the pigs inexplicably take lethal turns. Even Stella’s own mother is convinced that her daughter is cursed or haunted.

In her rugged Italian village, Stella is considered an oddity—beautiful and smart, insolent and cold. Stella uses her peculiar toughness to protect her slower, plainer baby sister Tina from life’s harshest realities. But she also provokes the ire of her father Antonio: a man who demands subservience from women and whose greatest gift to his family is his absence.

When the Fortunas emigrate to America on the cusp of World War II, Stella and Tina must come of age side-by-side in a hostile new world with strict expectations for each of them. Soon Stella learns that her survival is worthless without the one thing her family will deny her at any cost: her independence.

In present-day Connecticut, one family member tells this heartrending story, determined to understand the persisting rift between the now-elderly Stella and Tina. A richly told debut, The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna is a tale of family transgressions as ancient and twisted as the olive branch that could heal them.


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