Where She Has Gone
, Nino Ricci's third novel, is the final volume of the trilogy inaugurated by the best-selling The Lives of the Saints
(winner of the Governor General's Award, among many other accolades) and In a Glass House
. While In a Glass House
is an expansive novel, rolling through two decades of Victor Innocente's life, Where She Has Gone
is full of speed, passion, and intimacy, covering a few short months of transgression and doubt. Following the death of his father, Victor, a worldly, slightly ascetic graduate student, rebuilds his relationship with Rita, his half-sister, who has just begun an undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto. Victor's relationship with Rita was never simple, but now it becomes fraught with entirely new troubles: an unspoken sexual tension begins to develop between them, and its intensity refuses to abate. Their reeling, half-understood emotions send them, separately, back to Valle del Sole in Italy, their ancestral village, to confront the mysteries of their family and the weight of their culture.
Ricci handles this incestuous relationship amazingly well, making it both believable and entirely sympathetic. Where She Has Gone does slow a little when Rita removes herself from the action, leaving Victor alone with his obsessions, but it never entirely loses its momentum. Those who are really interested in Ricci's work should begin with The Lives of the Saints, but Where She Has Gone is a compelling, sensuous novel, well worth reading in its own right. --Jack Illingworth
From Publishers Weekly
The search for family, truth and identity drives the final installment of Ricci's trilogy (after The Book of Saints and In a Glass House) about an Italian family transplanted to Canada. Italian-born Toronto grad student Vittorio Innocente narrates his quest to trace the mystery regarding his family and his last memory of his mother. As we learned in earlier novels, and as we see again in flashbacks on a transatlantic ship he's traveling on to meet his father in Canada, Victor watched as his mother died while giving birth to a fair-complected, blue-eyed girl. The girl, Rita, was the child of another man, a stranger to the small Italian village. Victor's father, to forgive his wife's infidelity, gives Rita to an adoptive family while raising Victor himself. This novel begins after Victor's father's death, when Victor reacquaints himself with Rita, who has entered college in Toronto. The siblings gradually overcome their awkwardness toward each other and, in the process, become closer than they should. Their relationship falters and Rita takes off to Europe with an older Germanic man who Victor suspects may be her real father. In emotional turmoil, Victor leaves Toronto for Italy with the hopes of piecing together his family's history. In his boyhood village, Victor is reintroduced to aunts, uncles, cousins and a boyhood friend, and with each comes a rush of new memories. When the siblings finally meet, they realize that the ghost of their past will be a constant presence. Ricci's poetic prose and fluid plot create a tense and beautiful story whose sad ironies achieve resolution in a haunting conclusion. (July) FYI: Ricci is a former president of PEN Canada. The Book of Saints won the Governor General's Award for fiction .
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.