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There is no age without fears. We are always fragile, as parents and as children; when we need to reconstruct and when we don’t even know where to lay the foundations; when we look backward and all the threads stretch out. Amanda is fragile; she has come home stony and inaccessible. Her mother is fragile; she feels defenseless in the face of that silence. And yet they are connected by a bond: the Dente del Lupo and, under that mountain, an abandoned camping ground that belongs to their family. Maybe it would be better to pretend the place doesn’t exist and that nothing happened there, but it’s impossible. One night many years ago, up there among the pastures and forests, evil alighted. Amanda just manages to catch one of the last trains before the lockdown and returns home to the town near Pescara from which she had escaped. Lucia, her mother, only has to take one look at her to understand that something has been extinguished inside her. At first, in Milan, she had the city lights in her eyes; now it seems as though all she wants to do is disappear, she locks herself up in her room and hardly ever speaks. All Lucia can do for her now is protect her from the things that could injure her, even from her grandfather who is so strongly rooted to the territory. That grandfather who only thinks about his vegetable patch, the pastures, the forests, and the piece of mountain he owns. But there is a secret they can’t keep hidden from Amanda. Under the Dente del Lupo, on one of the plots of land that real estate developers covet, you can still see the ruins of a camping ground where, many years earlier, something terrible happened. Lucia was there that night, she was a frightened and confused young woman, like her daughter is today. And her father was there, too. There were the shepherds of the Apennines, the owners of the camping ground, the forest service, the police. They were all there, except for three young women who no longer existed. With her terse, vibrating, and profound writing style that can make us feel the weight of a glance and the sound of a question that has no answer, Donatella Di Pietrantonio once again investigates the brutality and the strength that, deep down, underpin every family.


Donatella Di Pietrantonio lives and works in Abruzzo. With L’Arminuta (sold in more than 30 countries) she received the Campiello Prize, the Napoli Prize and the Alassio Prize. With Mia madre è un fiume she awarded the Tropea Prize; with Bella mia she participated to the 2014 Strega Prize and won the Brancati Prize; Borgo Sud (2020) was shortlisted for the 2021 Strega Prize. She won the David di Donatello Award for Best Original Screenplay of the movie L’Arminuta, directed by Giuseppe Bonito.

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