South Tyrol, a region in Northern Italy bordering Austria and Switzerland, was annexed from the Austro-Hungarian County of Tyrol after the First World War – a transition that created tensions between the German-speaking South Tyroleans and the colonizing Italians. During this period of upheaval in the 1960s, Vito, a soldier from Sothern Italy, and Eva’s mother Gerda, find themselves entangled in an unsustainable love affair…

Throughout the novel, most circumstances develop in context with their paternal origins – from the past love life of Eva’s grandfather to male members of the political establishment seeking to preserve Heimat traditions. What is most prominent about Eva is her willingness to accept Gerda for who she is and come to terms with various related inequities. She attempts to resolve these by reacquainting herself with the man she knew for only a brief period during her childhood as father. At the same time, the book’s recounting of historical events nearly causes Eva to exist as the least consequential character in the story.

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