Author: Margaret Mazzantini
Translator: Ann Gagliardi
Original Language: Italian
Published by: Oneworld Publications, 2015
From the multiple award-winning author of Don’t Move and Twice Born, comes a dazzling, emotionally charged tale of two mothers’ fight to protect their children’s futures.
Libya, 2010. As Gaddafi clings desperately to power, and chaos and violence flood the streets of Tripoli, Farid and his mother, Jamila, face two stark choices: flee to the border and risk capture by mercenaries, or trek to the coast and chance their luck on the hazardous crossing to Sicily. But hunkering down in a trafficker’s battered old boat, the vastness of the Mediterranean – and their journey – begins to dawn.
Sicily, 2010. Vito wanders the desolate beaches recalling his mother’s stories of her idyllic childhood in Libya. Forced to leave the country years earlier, Angelina has never forgotten – nor forgiven – the forces that tore her from her childhood love, a young Arab boy whose fate was very different from her own. And as she yearns for her past life in Africa, Jamila dreams of building a future for herself and Farid in Europe.
Moving back and forth between the continents, this deeply moving portrait focuses on two families and one stretch of water, and in terse, lyrical language, captures perfectly the dark, uncertain quality of our times.