Gooseberry

Original title: Uvaspina

Author: Acito, Monica

Publication Date:

January 2023

Pages:

422

Original language and publisher

Italian | Bompiani

Territories Handled

France, Netherlands, Scandinavia, World English

Genre

Debut Novel

Gooseberry

Original title: Uvaspina

Author: Acito, Monica

Synopsis

A birthmark under the left eye, as dark as a ripe grape embedded in the skin very clear: he was born that way, Uvaspina, so much so that he soon got used to being called by that name that identifies him with his spot.

Uvaspina can get used to almost anything: to notary Pasquale Riccio, his father, who only comes home for meals and is ashamed of him; to the Spaiata, his mother, who after having setup Pasquale Riccio with her arts of chiagnazzara does not rest for having lost her own charm and pretends to die every time he leaves the house. But above all Uvaspina is used to his sister Minuccia, a little younger. Ever since she was a child, Minuccia is inhabited by an energy capableof unpredictable explosions, which precisely onUvaspina measure their power: Minuccia holdsher brother in check with her physical strength, with her cruel spites, with the acumen of one who knows how to strike at the point of maximum fragility, as when she tells him: “Your comrades were right, you really are a femminiello“.

Yet only Uvaspina knows the deep trigger that makes her sister a strummolo, a spinning top capable of wounding with its swirling metal tip. And only Minuccia senses Uvaspina’s dreams, when the strummolo keeps her awake and can peer at his fine features in his sleep.

Around them, Naples: the city of see thing bowels, of the neighborhoods reaching for the sky, from the long tentacles immersed in the sea that faces and penetrates it, right into the caves of Palazzo Donn’Anna. It is precisely on this border between the city and the sea, between history and myth, that Uvaspina meets Antonio, the fisherman with two different colors eyes who reads books and is not afraid of blood, who knows how to sail as far as Procida and geta crybaby who doubted himself his life back on track.

The purity of their encounter, however, will not be hidden for long in the caves of Palazzo Donn’Anna: the city draws them to itself, the strummolo turns and its lace will unite their destinies forever.