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Separated by centuries, extraordinary lives intertwine in this award-winning novel of tragic love, political intrigue, and war.
In 1995, at the height of the Bosnian conflict, a young refugee visits the old Mardi Castle in the north of Italy. There, instead of only experiencing the beautiful fortress and Renaissance frescoes, he becomes enthralled with the story of the tragic fate of poet Enzo Strecci, who spent his last days awaiting death in the castle’s dungeon.
A Franciscan guide, Niccolò, a refugee as well, will illuminate the past in remarkable ways for the curious tourist. The fascinating and moving tale reaches back not only to Strecci’s life—four centuries earlier—and the doomed passion for a woman, politics, and poetry that became his downfall, but also to Niccolò’s own life, love story, and fateful escape from the brutal conflict between Stalin and Tito.
Before the friar’s story is over, three men will be connected, regardless of time and space, by fates aligned by love, betrayal, and politics—and a bittersweet nostalgia for lost home.