THE SEED BENEATH THE SNOW by Ignazio Silone

THE SEED BENEATH THE SNOW

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KIRKUS REVIEW

For those who hailed Bread and Wine as one of the significant novels of the decade, it will be good news that here is a sequel in another novel about the rebel, Pietro Spina, well born younger son of a notable Southern Italian family, who has broken with his family and friends over his consistent opposition to the Fascistic movement. His staunch supporter is his grandmother, Donna Maria Vincenza, who seeks and wins his pardon -- and then turns it down when he refuses to accept the conditions. She is fearless but troubled; and an old family retainer persuades him that he cannot involve her further, so Pietro escapes to the Dalmatian mountains, there to be shielded by others who are with him in the cause of fermenting underground opposition. It is an enlightening picture of the venality, the blustering of the rulers; the cowering servility of the people who would sacrifice integrity for a form of security, of the boorish bullying of the minor officials, and of the mutterings of the peasants. There's romance, too, but to Pietro loyalty and friendship come first -- and he pays the price. The pace of the story is slowed down by long monologues and diatribes; but the atmosphere and the picture carry the ring of truth, and certain characters are sharply drawn.

Publisher: Harper