The Year of Our Love: A Novel (Paperback)

The Year of Our Love: A Novel Cover Image
By Caterina Bonvicini, Antony Shugaar (Translated by)
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Description


For fans of Sally Rooney’s Normal People

An extraordinary story of friendship and love across class lines, this rich, evocative novel traces the history of modern Italy, from 1975 to 2013, through the fate of one couple.

 
Valerio and Olivia grow up together in the Morganti family’s opulent villa in Bologna, inseparable friends even though they come from vastly different worlds: Olivia, the Morgantis’ daughter, is the heir to a large industrial fortune, while Valerio is the son of their gardener and maid. Largely sheltered from the dangers rampant in the unstable Italy of the 1970s, the two share their first innocent kiss at five years old, which heralds the start of a decades-long relationship.
 
From Valerio having to move to a poor neighborhood in Rome and Olivia making her entrance in high society, life tries to separate them at every turn, but without success, so strong is the bond between them. Year after year they meet only for a few moments, which feel like they’re eternal, and their friendship turns into something more intense, and scary. They take different paths: Olivia travels the world looking for herself, while Valerio devotes himself to a prestigious career that doesn’t satisfy him, in a country that is quickly losing its identity in the political crises of the Berlusconi era. Still, they keep meeting again and again at crossroads in life.

About the Author


Caterina Bonvicini lives between Rome and Milan and holds a degree in Modern Literature from the University of Bologna. Her novel L’equilibrio degli squali (2008) was hugely acclaimed and won the Premio Rapallo, Premio Fregene, and Premio Frignano in Italy, and the Grand Prix de l’Héroïne Madame Figaro in France. It was followed by Il sorriso lento (2010), Correva l’anno del nostro amore (2014), Tutte le donne di (2016), and Fancy Red (2018). Her books have been translated in several countries.

Antony Shugaar is the author of a number of books and has translated hundreds of others, including Everything Is Broken Up and Dances by Edoardo Nesi and Guido Maria Brera, Notes on a Shipwreck by Davide Enia, and The Piranhas and Savage Kiss by Roberto Saviano. His translation of Gianni Rodari’s Telephone Tales received the American Library Association’s 2021 Batchelder Award. He is the editor-in-chief of Redcar Press, a new publishing house focusing on translated fiction and graphic novels.

Praise For…


“Deeply engrossing…This exquisitely written epic love story traverses forty years of dark Italian history.” —Shelf Awareness

“Acclaimed Italian writer Bonvicini creates satisfying characters who are charming, short-sighted, selfish, and loving. Her rendering of the politics and social structure of Italy from 1975 to 2013 have a nuanced authority, and the blend of the personal and political feels authentic and adds depth and significance to the story. Readers of Beautiful Ruins (2012) by Jess Walters, Like Water for Chocolate (1992) by Laura Esquivel, and Gabriel García Márquez will appreciate the star-crossed pain Bonvicini delivers from start to finish.” —Booklist

“Deftly explor[es] class differences and family dynamics…Keenly observant…This book is recommended for readers who like an unconventional love story and are interested in the political and social upheaval in Italy during the late twentieth century.” —Library Journal

“A childhood friendship ebbs and flows over the course of several tumultuous decades in Italy’s recent past…Bonvicini’s star-crossed soul mates are ready for their miniseries.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Sweeping, surprising, and bristling with specificity, this novel combines the best ingredients of a love story with unflinching snapshots of a contemporary Italy roiled by violence, corruption, and social upheaval. The clarity, honesty, and veracity of Bonvicini’s writing will conquer you from page one. The first work of this acclaimed author to appear in English, thanks to Antony Shugaar’s supple translation, is cause for celebration.” —Jhumpa Lahiri, author of Interpreter of Maladies and The Namesake

The Year of Our Love is a layered, riveting story of love and complicated friendship set against a tumultuous period in Italy’s history. Fresh and stylistic, with characters that will remain with you, this modern saga has a clear ring of authenticity. Caterina Bonvicini delivers a thoughtful, enthralling story full of twists and turns. A story not to be missed.” —Jan Moran, USA Today bestselling author of The Chocolatier

“From the first paragraph of Caterina Bonvicini’s The Year of Our Love, I was transported to 1970s Italy. Instantly, I found myself tangled in the intricate web of Valerio and Olivia’s decades-long relationship. Part love story, part family saga, part historical coming-of-age tale, it’s impossible to turn away from Valerio and Olivia’s complicated bond as they navigate the boundaries of class, family obligations, and the vagaries of their own hearts. A beautiful, heart-wrenching tale.” —Laura Morelli, author of The Night Portrait and The Gondola Maker

“A deeply moving and memorable novel that captures love’s intensity and the losses that come with adulthood. In prose that is restrained but pulses with emotion, Bonvicini reminds us that the compromises we make in our youth can haunt us all our lives, and the people we love are often, in equal measure, the source of our distress and our only comfort.” —L. Annette Binder, author of The Vanishing Sky

The Year of Our Love is a triumphant love story about an indomitable girl and a tenderhearted boy destined to be together regardless of differences in class or circumstance. Get ready to fall in love with Olivia and Valerio as you experience their lives from childhood through adulthood in tumultuous modern Italy. Vividly crafted, wry and witty, this novel captivated me from the first page to the last.” —Suzanne Redfearn, bestselling author of In an Instant

“A deeply moving, surprising love story that digs into the depths of the human heart. Bonvicini expertly explores the blurred boundaries between class and crime, showing us just how far desperation and desire can push a person, and leaving us wondering what it is, in the end, we are all really after.” —Serena Burdick, author of The Girls with No Names and Find Me in Havana

“Caterina Bonvicini has created a vivid, engaging, and utterly convincing world in these pages. Over the course of three tumultuous decades, a man and woman who have loved each other since childhood meet and part, circle each other’s lives, snatching hidden moments, while the word ‘goodbye’ is forever on their tongues. Few writers are able to capture so perceptively the human tragicomic yearning after happiness. The Year of Our Love is a book for these times: compassionate, funny, and dead-on accurate.” —Eleanor Morse, author of White Dog Fell from the Sky and Margreete’s Harbor

“Nothing better than this novel for understanding Italy in the last half century. Everything is subtle, nothing is predictable...There is humor, wit, delicacy, gravity...You have to read The Year of Our Love, a powerful and poignant tragicomedy.” —Le Monde

“Bonvicini avoids every faux pas in this book, perfectly calibrating structure and style.” —Corriere della Sera

“These pages are filled with freshness, naturalness, and melancholy. The result is vivid and spirited.” —Le Figaro


Product Details
ISBN: 9781635420623
ISBN-10: 1635420628
Publisher: Other Press
Publication Date: June 22nd, 2021
Pages: 400
Language: English