Andrea Canobbio was born in Turin. A senior editor at the publishing house Einaudi, he is the author of the novels Vasi Cinesi (1989), Traslochi (1992), Padri di padri (1997), and Indivisibili (2000). This is his first book to appear in English translation in the UK.
In the first of Canobbio's five novels to be translated into English, garden architect Claudio Fratta is obsessed with two events from the past: his father's business failure and his brother's death from a drug overdose. He has fallen in love with Elisabetta Renal, the beautiful widow of wealthy philanthropist Alfredo Renal, and follows her everywhere. Soon after their first brief encounter, he is invited to design a garden for her estate. As the story progresses and the new garden emerges, Claudio pieces together the puzzle of his father's difficulties and gets revenge on the remaining loan shark who destroyed his family's furniture business. Eventually, Claudio also comes to terms with his brother's death. This remarkable story of regret, revenge, and acceptance offers exceptionally well-drawn, complex characters. This is not your typical novel of "la dolce vita" in Italy. The story could take place anywhere as Claudio spends time going to the mall, shopping at a supermarket with the war raging in the Balkans in the background. Instead of talking about the sweet life, the characters debate Italy's political situation. A mystery, a romance, and more, this suspenseful novel builds to a climax that will thoroughly engross the reader. Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries.-Lisa Rohrbaugh, East Palestine Memorial P.L., OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.