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The Legend of the Boy who Believed in the Sea (La leggenda del ragazzo che credeva nel mare)

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Original Language: Italian | 280 pp. | May 2018

2 Seas Represents: World English, French, Dutch, Nordic and Portuguese rights.

Under option: France, Germany, Greece, Albania

FICTION

When he dives into the water, Marco feels free. It’s only then that he manages to forget the years he’s spent between one foster family and another, thinking of his parents, about whom he knows nothing, apart from the birthmark shaped like a starfish that he’s probably inherited from them. But now Marco is afraid of the sea. He has hurt his arm diving off a cliff and his dream is fading. Because now he can no longer trust that endless stretch of blue. Because the sea, too, has betrayed him, like everyone else in his life.

And yet there’s someone ready to show him that anger and resignation are not the right sentiments for a boy to have. It’s Lara, his physiotherapist, who becomes fonder of him than anyone else ever has. Lara is the first person to listen to him without judging him. This is why Marco agrees to go with her to the village where she was born and be healed from the warmth of the sand and sunlight. A village straggling along the coast where the pace of life in those little streets smelling of saltwater is still dictated by fishing. What Marco doesn’t know is that Lara helped his mother bring him into the world. She knows the truth. She has brought him there to find himself again. Because in order to conquer his fear of the sea, he has to know who he really is. He has to find out where his roots are. Only then will he be able to look out over a cliff without trembling, because perhaps it’s only his heart that will tremble, ready at last to take flight.

Salvatore Basile was born in Naples and lives in Rome, where he works as a scriptwriter and director. He is now working on two television series taken from novels by Maurizio de Giovanni (Commissario Ricciardi / Commissioner Riccardi) and Chiara Gamberale (Le luci nelle case degli altri / The Lights in other People’s Houses). Since 2005 he has also been teaching a Master’s degree course in Screenplay for Television and the Cinema at the Catholic University (Università Cattolica) in Milan. This is his second novel.