The Madonna of The Mountains
Cousin of My Brilliant Friend, niece of Tracy Chevalier and acquaintance of Anna Hope, we are delighted to introduce Maria Vittoria, a new literary companion…
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WINNER OF THE 2019 VICTORIAN PREMIER’S LITERARY AWARD FOR FICTION
Shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Award
2019 Walter Scott Prize Academy Recommended
1923, north-eastern Italy: Maria Vittoria’s father has left the village to find her a husband. He has taken his mule, a pack of food and a photograph of Maria. There are no eligible men in this valley, or the next one, and her father will not allow her to marry just anyone.
Just as Fascism blooms in the country, the crops ripen, and the state demands babies – a new generation. There is much work to be done, and Maria faces a stony path, but one she will surely climb to the summit.
A bewitching, but entirely unsentimental portrait of one woman’s attempt to keep her family safe in turbulent times.
A brutal, brutalising portrait of war . . . Lushly written . . . Evocative.
With Mussolini’s propaganda promoting fertility as the female form of patriotism, Maria rises to her role as matriarch in this elegant, sweeping novel.
Elise Valmorbida’s writing brings Maria vividly to life and she is excellent on the small terrors of living in Mussolini’s Italy.
Elise Valmorbida writes vividly of family, faith and place, and renders the stoicism of Maria’s generation with an admiring eye.
As harsh, as sweet, as bitter and as poignant as the Italian landscape it so beautifully describes.
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