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Lives of the Saints: A Novel [Paperback]

Nino Ricci


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Book Description

March 5 2003
Set in the Valle del Sole, a village nestled in the folds of the Italian Apennines, Lives of the Saints tells the story of young Vittorio Innocente, and his mother, Cristina, whose affair with a blue-eyed stranger abruptly shatters the innocence of Vittorio's childhood. As he tries to piece together the truth of his mother's crime, we discover through Vittorio's eyes the underside of Valle del Sole's pastoral calm, the age-old superstitions and fears, vestiges of a pagan past, beneath the villagers' veneer of Catholicism, and the hypocrisy and malice beneath their self-rightousness.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Cormorant Books; 3rd edition (March 5 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1896951430
  • ISBN-13: 978-1896951430
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #512,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

Nothing can be hidden in a small village, and little is forgiven. In Nino Ricci's Lives of the Saints, the constricted mores of the villagers of Valle del Sole in the Italian Apennines come into severe conflict with Cristina, a local woman whose husband left for the United States years before and who has been impregnated by a secret lover. Ricci's engaging novel explores, through the eyes of Christina's seven-year-old son Vittorio, the superstition and narrow-mindedness of rural Italy, in a visually rich style that brings to mind the view of Italian life offered in such films as Fellini's Amarcord or the Taviani brothers' Padre Padrone.

Cristina, an independent spirit, sees her life turned into hell by her relatives and neighbours. Vittorio suffers too, although he is befriended by a compassionate teacher and the local goatherd. A grand and brooding pathos emanates from Cristina's difficult relationships with her relatives, but the novel carries a depth of humour as well. When Christina is bitten by a snake and taken to the hospital, the long trip down the mountains in the village's only car and the scene at the crowded hospital are both hysterically funny. Ricci's finely wrought novel spent months on the Canadian bestseller lists when it first appeared in 1990, beginning a trilogy that also includes In a Glass House and Where She Has Gone. --Mark Frutkin

About the Author

Nino Ricci was born in Canada of Italian parentage, and hold both Canadian and Italian nationality. After completing studies at York University in Toronto he taught for four years at a boarding school in Nigeria, then travelled widely though Africa and Europe. He completed graduate studies at Concordia University in Montreal, where he subsequently taught literature and creative writing, and at the University of Florence. He is currently an active member of Canadian PEN. Based in Toronto, Ricci now writes full-time, and has published short stories, articles and reviews. Lives of the Saints, his first novel, won Canada's most prestigious literary prize, the Governor General's Award, as well as the W. H. Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, and a Betty Trask Award. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I've read in years!!! May 1 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
A book about family, passion, life, and death.
About a woman who has no one left who loves her, except for her 10 year old son and the child she carries in her belly. All are agianst her and although she is about to breakdown, she stands tall and does what she believes is right for her to do. She portrays strenth, power, and braveness all in one. She is someone we would all like to be. A book that shows the cruelness of society and the cold-heartedness of family.

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