Mr. Fenton has a new haunt: poor, splendid Sicily, and the setting is more than a matter of olive trees and volcanoes (and reflections thereon) --it's people, especially thirteen-year-old Gino, too poor to go to school, too young to get work, and too concerned (about his family, about his future) to be content doing nothing; and the Professor, a stranger who questions miracles and conceals his past. The answer for Gino (and finally for the Professor) is the Opra dei Pupi, the puppet theater; Gino finds his identity as an apprentice puppeteer and the Professor finds release for his sorrow. The miracle? being alive. The plot hangs on happenstance and the message (an accommodation between saints and self-propulsion) can be dismissed, but the circumstances remain vivid: the house still under the pall of Papa's death two years earlier (and Mama still moaning in bed); the village turned in upon itself, sustained by the Villa and greedy for gossip; the puppet theatre--funny, frenetic, its proprietors proud of their tradition, their art, themselves. Flat as fiction, intermittently convincing as New Realism, lively and entertaining backstage.