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Natalia Ginzburg


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'So there is no one to whom I can speak the words that most need to be spoken, about the events which most closely concern our family and what has happened to us; I have to keep them bottled up inside me and there are times when they threaten to choke me.'

Valentino is the spoiled child of doting parents who have no doubt he will be 'a man of consequence'.

His sisters, however, see him for what he really is: a lazy, indifferent and self-absorbed medical student who whiles away time with nights out on the town, resulting in a string of failed and incomplete classes. His parents' dreams are soon undone when, out of the blue, Valentino brings home Maddalena, a wealthy and strikingly ugly wife.

What ensues is yet another work of quiet devastation told with Ginzburg's unflinching moral realism and keen psychological insight, as the family is scandalised by Valentino's decision and suspicious of Maddalena's motives.


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