Original title: Strangera

Author: Aidala, Marta

Publication Date:

September 2024



Original language and publisher

Italian | Guanda

Territories Handled

Netherlands, Scandinavia, World English


Debut Novel, Literary Fiction


Original title: Strangera

Author: Aidala, Marta


Although they bear masculine names, Beatrice is convinced that the mountains are women like herself. A place to climb to stay, where another possible life can be waiting for her.

One morning in May, she leaves Turin and moves to the refuge run by Barba, where she will work for the summer season.

Amongst her beloved mountains, Beatrice hopes to find the answers she is looking for, but being a woman and a stranger forces her to face the prejudices of her colleagues, who are convinced that she is unable to cope with the life she has chosen. Bea has to make room for herself in a world of men, and finds herself torn between Elbio, a young herdsman who is a symbol of a world that no longer exists, and Barba, a surly man who has been running the hut for thirty years amidst hard work and renunciation, and about whose past no one knows anything.

Beatrice plunges tenaciously into her new daily life, undaunted by her exhausting work, and begins to discover the dynamics of mountain life and its inhabitants, different from the idyllic vision imagined by city people. Despite the differences and misunderstandings, as the summer progresses, the bond between Elbio and Bea grows stronger and stronger, but when he has to go down to the valley with his cows, she chooses to stay at the refuge with Barba for the winter too.

A winter in which the snow is long overdue, in which the days pass monotonously, but in which Beatrice learns to smooth out the rough edges of Barba and earn his trust. It is Elbio who goes up once a week to visit her; she no longer wants to return to the valley. She is convinced she has found her home, a place where she feels she belongs.

But the accident of two mountaineers and an omission on the part of Barba will make her question her future again.

Marketing Information

  • English translation available (made by DeepL)