Books by Silvana Gandolfi

Released: April 1, 2004

From Italy, a gently whimsical tale of transformation and survival. Ten-year-old Elisa's grandmother, a retired Shakespearean actress, lives in a remote part of Venice. For reasons unclear to Elisa, her Nonna Eia will have no contact with her daughter, Elisa's mother, but is delighted to receive visits from Elisa. All is well, except that of late, Nonna Eia has been speaking not of dying, but of "transforming." And she looks peculiar, changing dramatically in appearance from visit to visit. She is, in fact, in the process of morphing into a giant tortoise from the island of Aldabra. That this change is effected seamlessly within the logic of the narrative is no small feat. By allying Elisa with her grandmother against the rigid skepticism of her mother, Gandalfi brings the reader into the text as a willing believer. Elisa's dogged devotion to her grandmother, which leads her into an Internet relationship with a crazed reptile collector and a frantic rescue attempt as Venetian waters rise around the hibernating tortoise, is the emphatically human element that grounds this magical tale in reality. (Fiction. 10-14)Read full book review >