Creating shockwaves when first published in Italy eight years ago, this is a historical novel based on a true account of a grisly murder in turn-of-the-century Verona. In her relentless narrative based on interviews and contemporary accounts, Maraini has brought a long-submerged story of injustice and oppression to light. The fact that Isolina became pregnant by her lieutenant lover and refused to have an abortion was published in newspapers after the murder. Also known, but not reported, was the suspicion that she was probably murdered by soldiers who, protecting their comrade's reputation, tried to abort the pregnancy. The crime could easily have been solved, but evidence was destroyed by the state in efforts to defend the image of the military. Dacia Maraini is one of the best known writers in Italy. Her previous prize-winning novel, The Silent Duchess, sold 200,000 copies in Italy and was on the bestseller list for seventy weeks.