Friday, August 05, 2016

Italy: The House in Via Manno, by Milena Agus

Wandering around the library shelves looking for authors with foreign sounding names may not be the best way of selecting books to read from around the world. This is a slim book, which attracted me because there are a lot of countries. What's more, the cover proclaims it to be an "international bestseller". It is more popular romantic fiction than literary fiction, however. I found it a pleasant light read, and it does have a bit of a twist at the end.

The narrator explores the life of her Nonna, a Sicilian woman who married in the war, not for love but for convenience. Her husband is a good man, a widower, and they make a life together, with "kindness and good deeds". Nonna meets "the Veteran" when she travels to a spa for treatment for kidney stones. His mysterious figure lurks in the background of the story. What really happened between the two of them? At just over a hundred pages, it doesn't take the reader too long to find out - or does it? The ending is not quite clear (but better for that).

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