Our wily and scheming narrator, Guiseppina Auriemma is a self proclaimed psychic and white witch who claims she can see the future. Maybe that’s because she is a successful con-woman and hanger-on who manipulates Patrizia during her darkest days. The two women met when Patrizia was on vacation near Pina’s hometown of Naples. Cleverly playing on Patrizia’s anxiety and superstition, Pina became her confidante and advisor during the divorce. She even began to co-write a book “Gucci versus Gucci” with Patrizia to expose the family’s dealings.
But it was during the period of Patrizia’s illness that Pina’s influence becomes more poisonous. In her way, Pina plays the same role to Patrizia that Iago played to Othello – the underling turned manipulator.
Pina organises the hit on Maurizio and then starts demanding hush money. She describes Patrizia as her ‘golden egg’, but her greed eventually leads to the unravelling of the whole conspiracy. After the trial Patrizia’s daughter Alessandra would claim ‘That Sicilian stole the soul of my mother’. Patrizia herself said of Pina: “Never let a friendly wolf into the chicken coop… Sooner or later it might get hungry”
What were her motives? Greed, certainly. Control. But there is something so intense about Pina’s claim to read the future, as well as manipulate it. She and Patrizia had a tense toxic relationship with strong undercurrents of misanthropy, mutual infatuation, and all the psychopathic tendencies of other criminal partners, a classic folie-a-deux, a madness only two can contrive and fulfil.