“Characters spanning three generations act out their lives against the background of historical turning points . . . reminds me of Downton Abbey!” —Willee Lewis, Vice President, PEN/Faulkner Foundation
This enticing family saga unfolds on the background of Italian history. The rich narrative tapestry includes a castle in the Piedmont countryside near Turin, three women, three generations, and a multitude of minor characters. It brings to the fore individual lives and human predicaments, personal feelings and universal themes. The lives of the three main characters, apparently ordinary, but actually tragic in their inexorable decline, are placed in a coral context that includes: the castle dwellers and the villagers, industrial entrepreneurs and socialist agitators, stars of the silent screen and working girls, American officers in WWI, fascist thugs and victims of the regime, a rogue and an honest prostitute, a singer of the Neapolitan varieté, a Russian prince, a descendant of Sir Walton the pirate, a band of partisans, a liberal priest, and even a domestic leopard.
The narrator, who is herself a character, claims an approximate knowledge of facts, which she gathered from personal memories, stories heard from various people, documents and letters, supplemented by the imagination where evidence is lacking. Most of all, it is the photos from the family album that stir her imagination. The use of various languages and dialects very effectively adds sound to the images.
“An elaborate and far-reaching tale that makes for compelling reading. A family saga that boasts ambitious, sophisticated, and controlled storytelling.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A beautiful story . . . a saga with its truth filtered through the fabric of narration.” —Camilla Baresani, author of Himalayan Pink Salt