• Janet Thomas (left) has her book signed by the author Simonetta Agnello Hornby watched by Grazia Micciche

    Janet Thomas (left) has her book signed by the author Simonetta Agnello Hornby watched by Grazia Micciche

  • Elena Vettorel and Fabio Andrade

    Elena Vettorel and Fabio Andrade

  • Marta Stachurski and Trish Munro

    Marta Stachurski and Trish Munro

  • Harriet Still and Pia Cashel

    Harriet Still and Pia Cashel

  • Barbara Jansson and Lena Britton

    Barbara Jansson and Lena Britton

  • Teresea Zarlenga, Franca Stevens and Anna Capezio

    Teresea Zarlenga, Franca Stevens and Anna Capezio

  • `Dunja Cvjeticanin and Christina Stavrides

    `Dunja Cvjeticanin and Christina Stavrides

  • Amelia Kennedy, Ally Luppino, Alessandra Kron, Isobel Ferguson and Lydia Edwards

    Amelia Kennedy, Ally Luppino, Alessandra Kron, Isobel Ferguson and Lydia Edwards

  • Gabrielle Tryon, Bettina Soderbaum, Dorothy Danta and Svetlana Sharapa Zazo

    Gabrielle Tryon, Bettina Soderbaum, Dorothy Danta and Svetlana Sharapa Zazo

  • Svetlana Sharapa Zazo, Simonetta Agnello Hornby and Grazia Micciche

    Svetlana Sharapa Zazo, Simonetta Agnello Hornby and Grazia Micciche

  • Svetlana Sharapa Zazo and Simonetta Agnello Hornby

    Svetlana Sharapa Zazo and Simonetta Agnello Hornby

  • The Zazo family's King Charles spaniel.

    The Zazo family's King Charles spaniel.

  • Marija Brajovic-Pavlicic and Zoran Pavlicic

    Marija Brajovic-Pavlicic and Zoran Pavlicic

Simonetta Agnello Hornby @ Embassy of Italy

27 August 2015

Simonetta Agnello Hornby is a proud Sicilian who married an Englishman despite her father’s protestations and went to live in London. She had children too despite her father’s protestations and became a London lawyer whose work within the family services, domestic violence and child abuse field has earned her immense respect.

She is also an award winning and internationally acclaimed novelist who joined a formidable writers list for the Melbourne Writer’s Festival and enjoyed a quick visit to Canberra as the guest of the Ambassador of Italy Pier Francesco Zazo and his wife Svetlana Sharapa Zazo.

The reception they held for Simonetta Agnello Hornby was a convivial conversation as she happily related her story of growing up in Sicily, intimate family recollections and how “painful it is to write about my family”, the influences on her life and her work as a London lawyer and how her writing career came about. As well for the Italian speakers the detail of the nuances of the Sicilian dialect, and how important speaking Italian to her children and grandchildren has now become.

A wonderful opportunity to learn more, become enchanted by her story and have a reason to seek out her books. And for many of this group of new Simonetta fans a delicious drift into her food writing and the fundamentals of food and family taking us back to the basics now seemingly lost in a world where many can’t cook, can’t sew and can’t clean.

Her Lewis Carroll story after being privy to some of his letters about the coterie of young girls he photographed naked is what she said is “the evil that must be talked about”. He is “a dreadful person”. And in an era where we must talk about what has been so secret for decades, she gave an insight into the mind and actions of a paedophile. The culmination of a conversation that had been insightful, intelligent, familial and memorable.

Amazon has some Kindle editions of Simonetta Agnello Hornby’s bestsellers, with her biggest seller The Almond Picker available in paperback.