AN ARID HEART by Carlo Cassola


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Returning to the setting--central Italy-- and theme -- youthful tribulations of the flesh and, consequently, spirit--of Bebo's Girl (p. 338, 1962), Carlo Cassola spins another careful, lucid tale of passion experienced and remembered. Sisters, seamstresses, Anna and Bice, live with their aunt in Marina, a resort town which awakens in the season, then returns to the old ways and values, out of it. ice becomes engaged to Mario, a soldier from America, but it is Anna of the green eyes and hoarse voice he loves and has before he is recalled across the seas. Anna moves from passion with love to passion without in her three-month affair with the weak, wealthy Marcello. But at the novel's close she has withdrawn from sordid indulgence and achieved a solitary inner peace which enables her to reject Mario's invitation to America and accept her sister's loveless marriage to Enrico, her own suitor from childhood on. A slight story which has a sense of inevitability and truth to strengthen it.

Pub Date: Jan. 22nd, 1963
Publisher: Pantheon