The Disowned

Original title: La rinnegata

Author: Usala, Valeria

Publication Date:

April 2021



Original language and publisher

Italian | Garzanti

Territories Handled

France, Netherlands, Scandinavia, World English


Literary Fiction

The Disowned

Original title: La rinnegata

Author: Usala, Valeria


We are the inactivity of a cut flower; the energy in its roots, transplanted in foreign lands. We are the violence of a blazing fire; the quiet in its ashes, gathered in scattered heaps.

Without a man next to her, a woman is nothing.

Teresa has always heard the echo of these words, like the wind during a storm, but she never believed it. Teresa — who is calm and fire, rage and tenderness — has fought against this conviction since she was born. Being an orphan, she has never had someone to protect her from her intelligence, as well as her beauty.

An entire village disowns her, scared by her independence, her words, and her gestures. Because, deep down, all of them make her different from the others. Not even starting a family with the man she loves was enough to silence the slanderers; no one believes that her fortune – an emporium and a tavern she built and manages by herself – is the result of effort and perseverance. But voices have always remained just voices, even if the one to answer back is the witch-like Maria, who wanders aimlessly through the streets.

Then everything changes, and Teresa is forced to defend all she has conquered, to prove that not denying herself means to be free. She wants to give that wind – full of cruel words – a new breath; but prejudice is tenacious, like a root to the ground.

A novel where Sardinia is the main character, with its nature, its legends, and its contradictions. A confession that turns into a testament, a mystery revealed after years of silence. A story of courage and surrender. A story of love and power. A story of rebirth and hope.