Without warning or explanation, a 13-year-old girl is sent away from the family she has always thought of as hers to live with her birth family: a large, chaotic household that is anything but welcoming. Thus begins a new life, one of struggle, tension, and conflict, especially between the girl and her mother. But in her relationship with her newly acquired sister Adriana, she will find the strength to start again and build a new and enduring sense of self.
Told with great immediacy and intensity A Girl Returned is a powerful novel rendered with sensitivity and verve by Ann Goldstein, translator of the works of Elena Ferrante. Set against the stark landscape of Abruzzo, it tells a compelling story about mothers and daughters, about families and responsibilities.
“This vivid novel begins with the narrator’s recollection of being returned to her birth mother . . . This lacerating hurt—conveyed with powerful immediacy in this translation by Ann Goldstein—stings throughout the novel, but also becomes the impetus for resilience and self-determination.”—The Guardian
“As heart-warming as it is heart-rending.”—The Economist
“Di Pietrantonio and Goldstein have delivered a controlled and exacting interrogation of human relationships that confounds both the mind and the heart in the most delicious way.”—Asymptote Journal
Donatella Di Pietrantonio
Donatella Di Pietrantonio is the author of three prize-winning novels including A Girl Returned, winner of the prestigious Campiello Prize. She lives in Penne, Abruzzo, where she practises as a paediatric dentist.