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Heaven and Earth: Book summary and reviews of Heaven and Earth by Paolo Giordano

Heaven and Earth

by Paolo Giordano

Heaven and Earth by Paolo Giordano X
Heaven and Earth by Paolo Giordano
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  • Published Jul 2020
    416 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

A powerful, epic novel of four friends as they grapple with desire, youth, death, and faith in a sweeping story by the international bestselling author of The Solitude of Prime Numbers.

Every summer Teresa follows her father to his childhood home in Puglia, down in the heel of Italy, a land of relentless, shimmering heat, centuries-old olive groves and taciturn, proud people. There Teresa spends long afternoons enveloped in a sun-struck stupor, reading her grandmother's paperbacks.

Everything changes the summer she meets the three boys who live on the farm next door: Nicola, Tommaso and Bern - the man Teresa will love for the rest of her life. Raised like brothers on a farm that feels to Teresa almost suspended in time, the three boys share a complex, intimate and seemingly unassailable bond.

But no bond is unbreakable and no summer truly endless, as Teresa soon discovers.

Because there is resentment underneath the surface of that strange brotherhood, a twisted kind of love that protects a dark secret. And when Bern - the enigmatic, restless gravitational center of the group - commits a brutal act of revenge, not even a final pilgrimage to the edge of the world will be enough to bring back those perfect, golden hours in the shadow of the olive trees.

An unforgettable story of enduring love, the bonds between men, and the all-too-human search for meaning, Heaven and Earth is Paolo Giordano at his best: an author capable of unveiling the depths of the human soul and who has now given us the old-fashioned pleasure of a big, sprawling novel in which to lose oneself.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[E]xtraordinary...Lush regional details, indelible characters, and a riveting story line make this an overwhelmingly emotional read. Giordano's captivating tale is a magnificent testament to the lingering impact of a charged romance." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Giordano deftly mines the vast, mysterious territory of childhood, illuminating how our first relationships and loves inform the adults we become. A big, delicious mash-up of a novel blending the vividly drawn friendships of Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan stories with the urgency of Richard Powers's acts of ecoterrorism in The Overstory." - Library Journal

"Grappling with material similar to Richard Powers' masterful The Overstory, Giordano gets bogged down in plot and fails to persuasively convey his characters' ideological passions...Some interesting ideas don't mesh well with a whole lot of melodrama." - Kirkus Reviews

"Ever since the publication of The Solitude of Prime Numbers, Paolo Giordano has stood at the forefront of international literature. His new novel Heaven and Earth is a stunning achievement and confirms him as an electrifying presence in contemporary fiction." - André Aciman, author of Call Me By Your Name and Find Me

"Perfect, moving, honest, brilliant, with characters who feel like old friends." - Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer prize-winning author of Less

"This is at once a lush picture of growing up in the Italian countryside, a highly original exploration of Christianity and the transmigration of souls, and a deeply affecting story of friendships under the strain of time and tragedy. Giordano's best book yet." - Dave Eggers, author of The Captain and the Glory

"Magnificent, heart-wrenching, and utterly compelling. Heaven and Earth is the perfect novel. And I'm not saying this lightly. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect." - Andrea Wulf, Costa-winning author of The Invention of Nature

"An intense novel about passions and reasons, unbreakable bonds and reckless excursions. Giordano is a master storyteller." - Yiyun Li, author of Where Reasons End

This information about Heaven and Earth was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own reviewwrite your own review

Diane Parker

I couldn't stop reading.....
This was one of those rare books that truly takes you to a place you've never been. The depth of human emotion and a search for the ultimate connection between Bern and his earth is captivating. I was so intrigued that I began to read the book one evening and didn't stop until 6 hours later. I cried trying to understand Bern's self realization and quest for pure understanding and appreciation. It's deep, it's emotional, heart-wrenching and tender in ways I've never imagined.

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Author Information

Paolo Giordano Author Biography

Paolo Giordano is the author of the critically acclaimed Like Family and The Human Body, and the international bestseller The Solitude of Prime Numbers, which has been translated into more than forty languages, as well as his new publication, How Contagion Works. Giordano has a PhD in particle physics and is now a full-time writer. He lives in Italy.

Author Interview

Name Pronunciation
Paolo Giordano: approximately pow-lo jaw-darno

Other books by Paolo Giordano at BookBrowse
  • The Solitude of Prime Numbers jacket
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