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On the Spine of Italy
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Beautifully written, this is at once a charming and a raw account of an unusual year, which will appeal to anyone who loves Italy. Intending to write through the summer months, the Irish poet Harry Clifton and his wife took up residence in an abandoned parish house in a village of the high Abruzzo, deep in the mountains of central Italy. They remained an entire year. A silence desends in the autumn as visitors and emigrants return home and the village reverts to its introverted self. Winter comes with an iron harshness, but it gives way to the gentle vivdness of an Italian mountain spring. Against the immense backdrop of the Appenines, the tiny community, resitant alike to church and state, gradually reveals its tensions and its generosities.
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