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Lives of the Saints by Nino Ricci
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Lives of the Saints

by Nino Ricci

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213454,782 (3.58)8
  1. 00
    The Facts of Life by Graham Joyce (andja)
    andja: the both books have the same subtle soothing atmosphere of the world seen through the eyes of an exordinary child..
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English (3)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (4)
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Lives of the Saints is the first book in a triology. I read the last book first, and I think that knowing the fate of Cristina and her son, Vittorio, really strengthened my enjoyment of this quiet novel set largely in rural Italy.

Seven-year-old Vittorio's mother, Cristina, is pregnant. Since his father has been away in Canada for several years, the child is obviously the product of an adulterous relationship and this causes many of the villagers to shun and scorn Cristina and her family (Vittorio and his grandfather).

Nino Ricci is a wonderful writer who can pack a lot of meaning and description into deceptively simple language. His characters' emotions are vivid and real. I look forward to completing this trilogy with the second book. ( )
  LynnB | Aug 30, 2009 |
a refreshing book, amazing and creative, full of unexpected scenes of a primitive italian willage ( )
  andja | Feb 18, 2009 |
Originally released in 1990, Lives of the Saints is Canadian author Nino Ricci’s first novel in the Vittorio Innocente trilogy and is published in over a dozen countries (it is published as The Book of Saints in the U.S.).

Ricci successfully evokes typical childhood growing pains, adding a layer of angst in a story rife with secrets and subtle streams of anger.

Vittorio Innocente’s father left their rural town in the Italian Apennines for Canada when Vittorio was barely three years old, leaving the child and his mother, Cristina, to care for a crippled grandfather and a meager farm. Vittorio, now almost seven, faces confusion and moral ambiguity as rumors surrounding his mother circulate among the townspeople.

We are introduced to the forces of good and evil that weave through Valle del Sole when Cristina is bitten by a snake, considered at once a symbol of good and an agent of the evil eye. The saying in the village went, ‘Do’l’orgoglio sta, la serpe se neva’—where pride is the snake goes. We are then led through Vittorio’s coming of age in an adult world filled with scandal, mystery, and hypocrisy.

Nino Ricci’s powerful prose sweeps the reader into his unsentimental tale of isolation, shame, rebellion, and innocence lost. ( )
  zinta | Sep 7, 2008 |
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The places we have known belong now only to the little world of space on which we map them for our own convenience. [etc.] --Rembrance of Things Past / Marcel Proust
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For my mother.
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