The Collectors of Wonders
Original title: La Collezionista di Meraviglie
A shop that collects abandoned objects.
Two antique watches with a story to tell.
Only one girl can reveal the truth.
Daphne is only a child when she finds a silver brush in an old trunk at home. It’s so bright that she can’t take her eyes off it. When she picks it up, a woman appears, sitting in front of a mirror, brushing her long, dark hair. This is how she discovers her special gift: she only has to touch antique objects to see the story of their owners. Since then, years have gone past, in which she tries to forget this ability, which speaks of a past she has done all she can to forget. But now she is no longer satisfied by her life, she can’t pretend any longer: she has to go back to Torralta, where it all began. Only there can she hope to find a new beginning. Waiting for her is her grandfather, Levante’s, antique shop. As soon as she sets foot in there, she sees herself as a little girl again, scampering through boxes piled with all sorts of knick-knacks. And above all she finds the old familiar smell of dust and paint. Too familiar for her to resist the desire to re-open the shop and restore it to its past splendour. With the aid of her loving grandmother, Clelia, and Milan, an unusual collaborator who had taken refuge in the empty shop, Daphne transforms it into a clinic for abandoned objects, giving them a new life. But one day, on the dusty shelves, she comes across an antique pocket watch connected to her own family and to the gift that has come back to haunt her. For this, she is ready to discover the truth about the mystery surrounding it. Because this is the only way that she can find herself again, by listening to what the past has to tell her.
Valentina Cebeni is one of Germany’s best-loved Italian authors. The Collector of Wonders is a precious book. It tells the story of a resolute and independent woman who learns to look beyond her surroundings to discover that treasures are often hidden in small things.
- German translation available