It’s 1960 and Oliva Denaro is sixteen years old. She lives in a small town in Sicily and ever since she was a little girl, she has known, on account of her mother repeating it to her obsessively, that “a woman is like a vase; whoever breaks it, buys it”.
She likes running until her lungs burst, she secretly copies the faces of film stars into her notebook and she goes looking for snails with her father, an activity she loves, especially for its silence. She doesn’t like, however, the idea of becoming a young woman, as she knows from that moment on she’ll have to defend herself from men.
When she rejects the advances of the baker’s son, enamored by the young girl, he kidnaps and rapes her in the hope that he can have her as his wife due to the Italian law of ‘reparatory marriage’. But Oliva doesn’t just refuse to marry him, she defends her right to choose her path in life by first reporting him to the police and then facing up to the brutal reality of the trial.
- Initial print run: 70,000 copies
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