cover image The Book of Hidden Things

The Book of Hidden Things

Francesco Dimitri. Titan, $14.95 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-78565-707-8

Renowned Italian author Dimitri’s beautiful first novel written in English, about a group of friends who have a pact to meet annually in their small Italian hometown, is an evocative meditation on friendship, adulthood, and the liminal spaces that lie just outside human perception. Tony, a surgeon; Mauro, a lawyer; and Fabio, a fashion photographer, show up to their meeting place in Casalfranco, but Art, who formed the pact 17 years before, never arrives. A search of his home uncovers disturbing items, including a very weird book by Art entitled The Book of Hidden Things: A Field Guide, and the friends discover that Art has supposedly healed a young girl who had cancer and is now being held by the local mafia. Each of the friends wants to escape the perceived bonds of his life, and Art’s book offers a pathway to a place of unbelievable bliss and little responsibility, the realm of the Hidden Things. But when the companions learn the price of entry, they struggle to confront their own demons and decide whether the promised joys are worth the cost. Dimitri’s beautifully written tale, steeped in nostalgia, folklore, and religion, will enthrall and terrify readers. (July)