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Briefly Noted

Newspaper: The New Yorker
Date: Sep 5 2016

In this erotic, mysterious novel, set in Italy, a young woman moves in with the family of her betrothed while he is abroad. She soon learns that this is an extraordinary family: terrified of the night because every ancestor has died after dark, it has made breakfast a ritualistic celebration of life; the parents are haunted by a strange history involving brothels and deathbeds; and the mother and daughter give the young woman lessons in pleasure that reignite her sexuality after years of suppression. This tale of lost innocence is poignantly told, “written” by a self-aware narrator who seamlessly shifts perspectives, giving the impression of being every character as well as the storyteller.