Set during the hardscrabble 1920s, this expansive vel follows the trials and tribulations of the Brunis, a family of hard-working farmers from the Italian Padan Plain. Witnessing the suffering around them, the Brunis open their great barn as refuge for the homeless multitudes. The barn becomes the inspiration for a series of vivid stories involving sundry strangers, the Bruni parents themselves and their nine children, who will grow up during the war and its aftermath. A magical collection that celebrates human solidarity during times of uncertainty.
Valerio Massimo Manfredi is a professor of classical archaeology at Luigi Bocconi University in Milan. He has many works of fiction, including the Alexander trilogy, published in over 20 countries. He is the author of The Ides of March, published by Europa Editions in 2010.