THE LITTLE VALLEY OF GOD by Carlo Cocciolo

THE LITTLE VALLEY OF GOD

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

This is an offbeat book, difficult to classify. One might say it has elements of The Servant in the House, shorn of any vestige of sentimentality; it has elements of B. J. Chute's Greenwillow without the poetry or the humor. The setting is an Italian mountain valley, where the people seem to have singularly little of God, despite the name of the valley, and an almost furtive curiosity and interest in the Devil and all his works. Superstitions survive, and magic is tapped on various occasions. The priest, Don Marcello, is more interested in antiquities than the present needs of his parish; the visiting intellectual, Prof. Silvano, is concerned only with bringing his love for Barbara, a local girl, to fruition; the young Domenicis, heirs to the palace of the old bishop, play with the forces of evil and the girl is seized of a devil; Maddalena, the local harlot, finds herself falling in love with a saintly, mysterious stranger, who calls himself Emanuele, and who -- at the strategic moment -- somehow arrives and intervenes to turn evil to good. A half dozen of the Gospel story miracles are performed --and at the end, he allows the violent death of the old priest to release from death the now reconciled and devoted Silvano and Barbara. The story, with its many threads, is told now in the diary of Maddalena, now by the all seeing author, always in brief episodes, each of which takes one phase of the story forward. Not easy reading, and I question a general American market.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster