This exquisitely written vel asks a simple question: how well do we kw our parents? One half of the story begins after the death of Luigi Bocchio, an Italian immigrant whose daughter Olivia discovers a mysterious deed among his possessions. The deed is to a house in Urbi, Italy---the hometown he barely spoke of. Intrigued, Olivia travels there. At first she is charmed by the historic city, the relatives she's t met before, and the young lawyer she's hired to help her investigate the claim. But when Olivia tries to sort out the deed, she is met with a puzzling silence. Everyone in the town remembers her father, but they are t eager to tell his story. However, Luigi tells his part of the tale directly to the reader as the chapters alternate between Olivia's search for the truth and Luigi's account of his history. By the end of this skillfully constructed book, the reader understands both sides of a heartbreaking, yet ultimately satisfying love story.
Natalie Danford is coeditor of the annual Best New American Voices series and a freelance writer and book critic. She lives with her husband in New York City.