The novel is a chronicle of fifty years of the Risorgimento, the Italian Unification's effect on Sicily, dating from Garibaldi's landing on the island in 1860 to the final decline of a once-opulent Sicilian family. The book represents a variation on the historical novel, in that it permits the present to intrude into the past--the omniscient narrator hints at what will happen after the story is finished. The protagonist is Don Fabrizio Corbera, Prince of Salina. He accepts that his nephew, Tancredi, joins the rebels, but sees the aristocracy displaced by the middle class. After the prince's deathbed scene, in which he sums up the small number of joyful hours as against his seventy years of boredom, the view deepens into psychological narrative. However, the story does not end in his death, but the final chapter, set in 1910, shows the decline of the family.--Adapted from kirjasto.sci.fi.