“Powerful . . . The vivid descriptions of the Sardinian landscape are a fitting complement to the heroine’s conflicted heart” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
As this compelling novel opens, a young unnamed woman reflects on the life of her bewitching, eccentric, and fiercely emotional grandmother, whose abiding search for love spans much of the twentieth century. In 1943, as American bombs fall on the city of Cagliari, she is thirty and considered an old maid, still living at home with her parents. But when the bombing ceases, and despite her protests, her father forces her to marry the first man to propose, an older widower she doesn’t love.
After suffering several miscarriages, she is sent for treatment at a spa on the mainland, where she falls in love with an injured Italian army veteran. Back home, she gives birth to a son. She never reveals the affair to her husband—but decades later, she returns to the mainland and travels to her former lover’s hometown of Milan. Dressed in her finest coat and shoes, she wanders the streets in search of the elusive veteran . . .
Set against a backdrop of rugged mountains and Italian villages lost in time, this international bestselling novel is a multigenerational family saga about love, lust, and country.
“Agus’s descriptions of the everyday are as beautiful and haunting as her portrayal of life’s most dramatic episodes. Add an unexpected ending and the result is a graceful, powerful book.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)