A work of understated elegance and cumulative power, this novel eases readers into a drama unfolding within a Catholic family in Italy on the eve of World War II. As scenes only dimly understood by the child Lorenza are revisited by the woman she becomes, what seemed a family affair—a romance involving Lorenza’s mother, her father’s Jewish friend Arturo, and her aunt Margot in Switzerland—begins to reveal the broader outlines of the drama of history, in particular the tragedy of Italy’s Jews during the Holocaust. Limning the interplay of past and present, of memory and presence, this haunting work by one of Italy’s foremost writers brings to life the subtleties and complexities of history as it is experienced, interpreted, and relived within the most intimate of realms.
“A skillfully constructed novel by [a] much-honored author. . . . A brilliant and genuinely disturbing book.”—Kirkus
“This is a complex, riveting, and deeply moving book about passion and remorse, selfishness and generosity, cruelty and kindness.”—Susan Zuccotti, author of Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy
“A remarkable and moving story, beautifully rendered by Gregory Conti in a poetic prose that always seems to strike exactly the right note.”—Breon Mitchell, Professor of Comparative Literature, Indiana University
“No one recreates childhood better than Rosetta Loy. No one shows more tellingly how neither love nor mercy suffices when a soul rages for justice. Readers of English will be grateful to Gregory Conti for his economical, faithful, fluent rendering of this novel of complicity and resistance, of how loves find fulfillment—and at what terrible costs.”—Blossom S. Kirschenbaum, translator of Giuliana Morandini’s Bloodstains and Paola Drigo’s Maria Zef
Blossom S. Kirschenbaum
"What a fascinating novel this is. . . . Narration, description, and characterization are superlative."—Jewish Book World
Jewish Book World