Again as in Bruno Santini this Italian author sketches out his neatly drawn characters within the working class society of Italy--this time at the turn of the century. Metello, orphaned and raised by relatives on a rural estate, after being left behind by the family who were driven from their land, sets off for the city at fifteen. Drawn into the circle of fringe and actual anarchists, Metello eventually becomes a skilled bricklayer, gradually involved in the problems of an exploited labor force. Introduced to a woman's love by middle-aged Viola, Metello, after a period of compulsory military service, meets the beautiful Ersilia whom he marries. A savage strike in 1902 and Metello's affair with the young wife of a neighbor still cannot shake the secure foundation of his marriage, and with the partial success of the strike and a reconciliation with Ersilia, Metello stands at the brink of a confident future. An oddly serene and leisurely novel of stout hearts and lunchpail love.