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BookBrowse Reviews Return to Valetto by Dominic Smith

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Return to Valetto

A Novel

by Dominic Smith

Return to Valetto by Dominic Smith X
Return to Valetto by Dominic Smith
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2023, 336 pages

    Paperback:
    Jun 11, 2024, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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An evocative novel about grief and healing set in a vanishing Italian village

Dominic Smith's novel Return to Valetto is narrated by Hugh Fisher, an author and historian. In the book's opening chapter we learn Hugh's wife died of cancer six years prior, and his mother followed not long afterwards; he's been unable to move on with his life, still mourning these losses. While on a lecture tour in Italy he decides to spend time in his mother's birthplace, Valetto, a tiny village situated on a crumbling plateau in the country's central region. Among the town's 10 remaining residents are his three elderly aunts and his grandmother, who is within weeks of celebrating her 100th birthday. He plans to stay in a cottage behind their villa that he inherited from his mother, but he finds the house has recently been occupied by a squatter. Elisa Tomassi claims Hugh's grandfather (who left his wife and four daughters to join the World War II Italian resistance and was never ...

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