Set in 1950s rural Sardinia, Murgia's prize-winning novel is steeped in the atmosphere of another time and place.
When six-year-old Maria is adopted by an elderly seamstress her life is transformed for the better. But her new "soul mother" has another occupation which she keeps from the child, aiding the island's dying. When as a teen Maria learns about this other life, she departs in horror for the "continent" and finds work in Turin. A curious and elegiac work, it takes no prisoners when it comes to the realities of birth and death. Tenderly translated by Silvester Mazzarella.