Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyIn another of the understated, richly evocative novels for which she is known, Ginzburg takes us into an Italian village whose almost claustrophobic atmosphere reflects its residents' entanglements as they cope in various ways with the creeping changes in lifestyle brought about by fascism and by modernization. At the center of this elegant, spare novel, translated with apparent seamlessness, is a doomed, yet not sad, love affair. Elsa, romantic and introspective, and Tommasino, son of the family whose aging factory dominates the town, a man who combines ``linear programming'' with Byronesque angst, conduct an affair that while not greatly passionate, has yet its own fulfillment. The lovers, who do not meet in their own village, where society and family (a ``trail of relations like a long snake'') entrap them, agree to avoid marriage. Aptly titled, the novel captures the intergenerational stories told and re-told in quiet evening conversations. (Oct.)
Library Journal - Library JournalAs if carried on a warm and gentle breeze, Ginzburg's voices come to us from their Italian hill town in the strange hush that followed World War II. They belong to narrator Elsa; Elsa's mother, who worries about her health and her children--particularly Elsa, who is 27 and still unmarried; old Balota, a Socialist who owned the cloth factory; and Balota's wife and five children, including Tommasino, with whom Elsa has had a too-long and unsatisfying affair. In her Author's Note, Ginzburg declares: ``The places and characters in this story are imaginary. The first are not found on any map, the others are not alive, nor have ever lived, in any part of the world. I am sorry to say this, having loved them as though they were real.'' With obvious affection and meticulous care, with her usual stylistic elegance and literary economy, the author has indeed made them real for us, as well. Highly recommended.-- Marcia G. Fuchs, Guilford Free Lib., Ct.
- Carcanet Press, Limited
- Publication date:
Write a Review
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >