This bundle includes three novels by Natalia Ginzburg published by Daunt Books.
In All Our Yesterdays, Anna, a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl in a small town in northern Italy, finds herself pregnant after a brief romance. To save her reputation, she marries an eccentric older family friend, Cenzo Rena, and they move to his village in the south. Their relationship is touched by tragedy and grace as the events of their life in the countryside run parallel to the war and the encroaching threat of fascism – and in their wake, a society dealing with anxiety and grief.
Valentino is the spoiled child of doting parents who have no doubt he will be ‘a man of consequence’. His sisters, however, see him for what he truly is: lazy, apathetic, self-absorbed and far more interested in partying than applying himself to his studies at medical school. His parents’ dreams begin to unravel when, out of the blue, Valentino becomes engaged to the wealthy yet strikingly ugly Maddalena. The family is scandalised by his choice of bride – and suspicious of his motives. In Valentino, class, social expectations, wealth and marriage come under Natalia Ginzburg’s forensic scrutiny, her unflinching moral realism and her keen psychological insight resulting in a work of quiet devastation.
A domineering mother moves from a small town to the suburbs of a city with her daughter and son-in-law, yet soon grows restless with her new life. When she strikes up a friendship with the mysterious Scilla, her world suddenly seems rich with potential and before long, the pair are planning to open an art gallery together. After a series of afternoons spent over coffee granitas in local bars, however, it quickly becomes apparent that there is more to Scilla than meets the eye. Class, in all its manifestations and aspirations, is at the heart of Sagittarius, as misplaced confidence and ambition gone awry leads inexorably towards the downfall of a family.