The Madonna of the Mountains Buy
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  • “The Madonna of the Mountains is as harsh, as sweet, as bitter and as poignant as the Italian landscape it so beautifully describes, and the political and military battering that landscape and its people suffered in the first half of the 20th century. It adds up to a small, perfect history of that time, observed from the most ordinary, most human point of view: that of a devout and hardworking wife and mother.” —Louisa Young

    Set in the Veneto in Northern Italy and spanning nearly three decades following the First World War, The Madonna of the Mountains is a fierce, sharply observed and richly detailed account of a woman's fight to keep her family alive and thriving—at whatever cost.

    We meet Maria in 1923 as she awaits the arrival of her husband, chosen for her by her father and miraculously neither disfigured nor damaged by the previous war. Together they start a shop and build a business and a family—but the creep of fascism casts a dark shadow, and the horrors of war, political and practical, threaten their very survival.

    The Madonna of the Mountains is about what unites family and community and also what destroys them. It is about love and enmity, envy and generosity, two men, one God (and his mother) and the undying bond of a mother to her children.

    © 2018 Elise Valmorbida