Portions of the book Cuba Straits take place in Key West, which is in the Florida Keys. We've started watching the Netflix TV series Bloodline, which is set on Islamorada, in the Florida Keys. We're in Season 1. In episode 5, Sissy Spacek (the mom) tells her son a story about his father, now deceased. When pop was a boy he lived in rural Texas. He comes home one day and finds that his father has beaten his mother and locked her in the basement.
I just finished Vendetta by Michael Dibdin, a murder mystery set in Sardinia, which is an Italian island in the Mediterranean. Seems to have many of same features as Sicily: vicious, ignorant peasants, stuck in 16th Century. Turns out the killer, and our hero's savior, is a diminutive woman who got locked in her parents basement when she was 15. Elsewhere in the book he mentions Catullus, an ancient Roman poet.