(by Paolo Petroni) (ANSA) – Rome, April 30 – Nadia Terranova “Shakes the Night” (EINAUDI, p. 168 – 16.50 euros). One life, or rather two little lives of the curse, captives of a definite fate and a contrasting background, for it is wanted by those most closely related to them and who, together, one hates at the difficulty of imagining liberation: “c” is something stronger than pain and is habit.
We are between Silla and Karidi. On the one hand, in Messina, Barbara was born with another coast wall to block my gaze, and on the other, in Reggio Calabria, Nicola, whose destinies will eventually intersect and distinguish one another. The first, orphaned by her mother, finds herself in the hands of a father whose love can’t help but think of an arranged marriage who sees her as a wife and mother, incapable of hearing, not evil but bound to small tradition and culture. She understands his refusal, who also tries to make him arrive by giving him a book in which a story similar to hers is told, but the father will not pick it up from the ground where he drops it. The second, eleven, is the victim of a deeply disturbed and possessive love of a mother madly overprotective, to the point of tying him to a bed in a basement at night so that the devil cannot take possession of him, while the absent father is concerned only with his work and his social role.
Only the ideas of rebellion and freedom that coincide with the end remain. One of the ideas was Barbara, who returned to her grandmother’s house with whom she went to the play Aida at the Opera House. The fact is that on that night of December 28, 1908, this desire will be fulfilled in many ways.
It is in fact the history of the devastating earthquake, one of the most dangerous earthquakes in European history, that will annihilate Messina as Reggio: “Everything loved and hated has disappeared” at the age of twenty-five “the neighborhood no longer exists. Only the dead and the living dead.”
All that remains are ruins, overhanging railings, constant collapses and clouds of smoke, the stench of corpses, the redness of fires, and the search for who may have been buried, perhaps using some divination like Mrs. Rubble everywhere including redeeming yourself and finding how and where to save yourself, both for Barbara and Nicola, who are left alone. A tragedy that erases all the past up to that day and which will allow both, in different ways and each on their own, to build a life that may not be perfect or easy, but certainly more independent and aspiring to a different loving idea. About that tyranny that characterized them and that continued to distinguish them in the days of the disaster. After escaping, they will find sanctuary and help aboard the torpedo boat Morgana, where the two boys will find themselves united and marked by one last tragic violence touching the girl, of which the child is an invisible witness. . Then the slow rise of Barbara thanks to a solidarity group of women in the hut village donated by Queen Elena to the earthquake victims.
A story with a factual basis but with moments to see and played on a survey of symbolic value, marked, chapter by chapter, by the main legend of the Tarot, all the way to a sort of final moral with the author nowadays. Here, for example, is the mysterious ‘strength’, in which Virgo tames the Leo and invites us to abandon the level of ‘quantity’, because Virgo is undoubtedly weaker than Leo in regard to body quantity. strength, and raises us to the level of ‘quality’, where there is clearly a superiority to the Virgin,’ of the chapter in which her new fate is revealed to Barbara.
A peculiar novel, a special novel, to tell us about our own destiny and especially the fate of women in the twentieth century, it finds a perfect and absolute moment, almost mythical, and tells it in polished language, with echoes of time, but it dissolves naturally into Barbara’s story and her growth. (handle).