Synopses & Reviews
This novel, the first from the mayor of Rome, chronicles two parallel stories. Giovanni Astengo, employed by the Italian State Archives, is driven to uncover the fate of his father, who disappeared in 1977 after the murder of his best friend and colleague. Returning to the former country house of his parents, he is compelled to dial the number of his childhood home, and due to forces unknown, someone answers: his thirteen-year-old self, just days before his fathers disappearance. The telephone establishes a mysterious link between the older man and his younger self, at a pivotal moment in their lives. While his family life unravels, Giovannis search for the cause of his fathers disappearance intensifies, setting the scene for a dramatic conclusion.With this unpredictable detective story, Veltroni explores a troubled era in Italian life: the bloody terrorism that marked the seventies. Through the protagonists journey into his familys past and the secrets that he uncovers, Veltroni offers a new perspective on a period in contemporary history—and its devastating consequences—that many of his compatriots still have not come to terms with.
About the Author
Walter Veltroni was elected a Member of Parliament in 1987 and has been mayor of Rome since 2006. He is also leader of the Italian Democratic Party. A professional journalist, he was editor-in-chief of LUnità from 1992 to 1996. This is his first novel. Douglas Hofstadter is a professor and award-winning author. His book Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid received the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction.