The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is currently searching for leads regarding a 15-year-old from Marianna who may be with an acquaintance and may have traveled as far south as DeFuniak Springs or Tampa/St. Pete.
Marianna Ucria, daughter of Duke Signoretto Ucria of Bagheria in Sicily, embarks upon a journey from her home in Bagheria to Palermo – Sicily’s capital city – where she witnesses an Inquisition tribunal sentence a young brigand to death and hopes that this tragic event will restore Marianna’s voice; instead it inspires her on an adventure of self-discovery and expression that both stems from her silence as well as creates it.
Fila becomes Marianna’s traveling companion during her first journey, becoming her most faithful servant and traveling partner. Over time, as Marianna learns how to communicate more openly and comfortably with Fila, Marianna defies convention by becoming protagonist of what might be considered a novel of formation (or Bildungsroman). Marianna’s development mirrors that taking place across Sicily away from feudal aristocracy and religious dogmatism towards greater democracy and tolerance.
But Marianna experiences her most dramatic change through nocturnal reflections in which she realizes that her father has also known, accepted and contributed to perpetuating violence against his daughter. Following this discovery, Marianna refuses for the first time ever intimacy with her husband; furthermore she decides not to appear before Palermo Inquisition tribunal to undergo autoda-fe — burning at stake of heretics — by way of an autoda-fe.