A New Life

Original title: Una Nuova Vita. La saga dei Fontamara

Publication Date:

May 2021



Original language and publisher

Italian | Sperling & Kupfer

Territories Handled

France, Netherlands, Scandinavia, World English


Literary Fiction

A New Life

Original title: Una Nuova Vita. La saga dei Fontamara


Italy shaken by the first upheavals of fascism, the struggle of a mother and her children to assert themselves and remain independent, an enthralling web of destinies, betrayal and passion. 

Cuba in the ‘Thirties. After the death of her beloved husband, Fernando Fontamara, Eva Morris is obliged to escape to her sister-in-law’s in Rome with her four children.The cohabitation with her Italian relatives proves difficult right from the start: her brother-in-law, Giacomo Fontamara, is an arrogant fascist, who has only married his wife, Ottavia, to get his hands on her family’s biscuit factory, the “Forneria Principi”. Because of its disastrous management, the company is in deep trouble, as is Giacomo’s relationship with his wife and three children, including the little Viola, born of a secret affair, whom Ottavia has decided to welcome into the family in the hope of recovering her relationship with her husband. The arrival of their cousins from Cuba upsets their daily life and fatally interweaves the destinies of the two branches of the family, amidst a painful discovery about Fernando’s death and the management of the workers’ struggles at the Forneria. But their new meeting also brings about the consolidation of past bonds, as well as new complicity, thanks in particular to the women of the family. Against the backdrop of an Italy falling increasingly into the grip of fascism, it will be their task to take over the tiller and guide the Fontamaras through and beyond the storm.

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