Where She Has Gone

Nino Ricci, Author Picador USA $25 (336p) ISBN 978-0-312-18700-2
The search for family, truth and identity drives the final installment of Ricci's trilogy (after The Book of Saints and In a Glass House) about an Italian family transplanted to Canada. Italian-born Toronto grad student Vittorio Innocente narrates his quest to trace the mystery regarding his family and his last memory of his mother. As we learned in earlier novels, and as we see again in flashbacks on a transatlantic ship he's traveling on to meet his father in Canada, Victor watched as his mother died while giving birth to a fair-complected, blue-eyed girl. The girl, Rita, was the child of another man, a stranger to the small Italian village. Victor's father, to forgive his wife's infidelity, gives Rita to an adoptive family while raising Victor himself. This novel begins after Victor's father's death, when Victor reacquaints himself with Rita, who has entered college in Toronto. The siblings gradually overcome their awkwardness toward each other and, in the process, become closer than they should. Their relationship falters and Rita takes off to Europe with an older Germanic man who Victor suspects may be her real father. In emotional turmoil, Victor leaves Toronto for Italy with the hopes of piecing together his family's history. In his boyhood village, Victor is reintroduced to aunts, uncles, cousins and a boyhood friend, and with each comes a rush of new memories. When the siblings finally meet, they realize that the ghost of their past will be a constant presence. Ricci's poetic prose and fluid plot create a tense and beautiful story whose sad ironies achieve resolution in a haunting conclusion. (July) FYI: Ricci is a former president of PEN Canada. The Book of Saints won the Governor General's Award for fiction .
Reviewed on: 06/29/1998
Release date: 07/01/1998
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-7710-7504-9
Paperback - 325 pages - 978-0-312-20681-9
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-0-7710-7454-7
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