Original title: Redenzione
“A balanced writing, capable of giving essence to unresolved conflicts and ghosts of the past” – Corriere della Sera
Chiara Marchelli’s writing is a blade of placid ferocity” – Vanity Fair
“Chiara Marchelli has a great talent in getting inside characters’ mind and hearts” – la Repubblica
For Giorgia, the stunning medieval hill town of Volterra means holidays and refuge: the place to recharge her batteries in the summer.
In the little village she meets Malina, who has returned to Tuscany after a long time abroad, and the two immediately strike up a deep friendship, a chemistry nourished by long conversations and shared secrets. Giorgia tells Malina about her history of eating disorders and her problems linked to a break-up, and Malina confides her heartbreak for her mother who, after spending years in Volterra’s psychiatric hospital, has been released with nothing left to live for.
Life in the sleepy village is turned upside down by the discovery of a body: a woman strangled and dumped in a gully just outside the village. While officer Maurizio Nardi’s investigation recreates the victim’s relationships and movements, Giorgia also mysteriously disappears – perhaps at the hands of the same person.
In this small Tuscan town everyone knows everyone, and in its collective memory, the former psychiatric hospital – a building whose ruins still seem imbued with stories and ghosts – has become the symbolic home (and more) to a suspicious community still unable to come to terms with their own past and the pain they have caused. For Redenzione is a study of pain. The pain we endure and create; the pain we carry within us, which often takes the form of suffering with no outlet. Trivial pain, the kind we encounter every day; insidious pain; and extraordinary pain that we don’t imagine ourselves, or our neighbors, capable of.
Chiara Marchelli explores the human mind in search of what causes pain, and possible redemption, in limpid and haunting prose. The novel has a noir shade, telling us a story where the past blossoms in the present like a poisonous flower, obsessively seeking redemption from pain inflicted and suffered