On Amazon UK
How I discovered this book: It was a submission to Rosie Amber's Book Review Team, of which I am a member.
I was not sure how to review this book at first, because it's a strange one; my opinion of it varied so much, all the way through. It's a long novella (or a very short novel - I am sure it is no longer than 50K words, maximum).
Warning: this review includes plot spoilers.
Set in northern Italy, the story opens with Pietro, heartbroken over the loss of his wife, Maria, who has just died from cancer. It then goes back to Maria's childhood in Sicily, in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Maria lived in a small village, where life rolled by at the slow pace of fifty years before, and the Roman Catholic church and the family were the main focus. I adored every word of this part; it's beautifully written, and I felt so sad when Maria's mother died, even though I'd met her only briefly. Yes, the characterisation is that good. The atmosphere of the time is simply yet vividly portrayed, and I was completely engrossed in the story.