The House On The Hill
Corrado, a forty year-old professor working night shifts in Turin, like many others around 1943-44, seeks shelter in the nearby hills to escape bombings. Here he stays in the house of two women, one of which, Elvira, is in love with him. The protagonist starts going to "Le Fontane" "osteria" (a sort of pub) where politics are openly discussed and Radio London is listened but where, above all, he meets Cate again, a woman he had an affair with years earlier, who now has a baby who might even be his son. Fought between his solitary temperament and the feeling he has to take responsibility for his own actions, the protagonist cannot take a definite position with regards to what happens around him, not even in the moment of general enthusiasm that occurs at the news that war is over. Corrado spends his time walking quietly in the hills and remembering his past. But all of a sudden events collapse: the Germans arrive and with them the round ups and searches. "Le Fontane" is involved too as anybody inside is arrested. Corrado, still free, together with young Dino, seeks shelter in a boarding school in Chieri which soon doesn't appear a safe place. After returning to the hills for a while and back to the boarding school again, he decides to go back home, in a village of the Langhe territory. After a dramatic journey he will make it, but the quiet he reaches will not allow him to stop thinking about the war. Set during World War Two and the Resistance, apart from reporting the historical events the novel indirectly faces more universal themes too, like solitude and love. The last two pages are particularly intense, where Corrado, who is really the author's alter ego questions himself on themes such as life, death and pain, without necessarily finding answers.