La Primavera del Lupo

by Andrea Molesini

The Spring of the Wolf

In Wolf in Spring, a young orphan tells the story of his daring escape from a Venetian island convent, together with a group of uncommon companions, in the final months of the Second World War and the agonizing wait for liberation. Wolf in Spring confirms Molesini’s place as one of Italian literature’s best new talents of recent years. An exquisite novel is capable of moving and entertaining readers of all ages. Hitler’s men have ears everywhere and will put their hands anywhere, even inside a convent. In the Franciscan community on the Venetian island of Burano, Brother Ernesto («more clever than Ulysses because he understands the language of the hedgehog but pretends not to in order to listen to what the bad guys say») manages to arrange for the escape of some of the more compromising guests hiding behind his walls. Under cover of night an eclectic company hastens to leave the lagoon behind: Pietro, an irresistible ten-year-old orphan and our unforgettable narrator; Dario, a Jewish orphan and Pietro’s best friend («because he keeps his mouth shut and knows his numbers»); the Jewish Jesi sisters, Maurizia and Ada, two comical and inseparable ladies who try to distract the children with bizarre stories. And then there’s Sister Elvira, courageous and resolute, who «knows tons of stuff the others don’t,» and the book’s second narrator, an enigmatic adult counterpoint to the overpowering Pietro. In the course of their picaresque escape from the Germans, the two boys and Sister Elvira decide to make their way toward the northern border. Helping them on their difficult path is a German official who himself needs to flee and disappear on account of a mysterious past. Little by little the quartet becomes a family, a small but courageous group in which each person fights for the survival of the others. The mountain road is far from simple, populated as it is by vindictive Fascists, discouraged partisans, and Germans blinded with bitterness for the imminent defeat, and no one can be trusted. Destiny, salvation, and liberation demand not only great courage but also, and above all, great humanity.

Available product forms

Paperback / softback

Paperback / softback

Published by Sellerio Editore

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