Recommendation: Every Promise by Andrea Bajani (trans Alastair McEwen)
Alongside Pietro’s own story, is that of his grandfather Mario, who was locked away after returning from war in Russia, driven mad by what he experienced there. Sections in which he recalls the little he knew of his grandfather are riveting, and create an image of this disturbed man as seen through the eyes of a child. In search of understanding and at Olmo’s behest, Pietro eventually travels to Russia, a journey which is sensuously presented and rich is detail.
Every Promise is a difficult novel due to its complex, nuanced plot. It is an overwhelmingly elegiac story which laments lost love and happiness; yet it is also an incredibly beautiful book, which reminds readers how passionately a new author can make one feel. Bajani’s prose is elegantly constructed with mesmerising, poetic metaphors, which will endear lovers of literary fiction.
This piece was commissioned by Book Trust and first published here.
Buy the book: Every Promise