Pub Date 05 Jun 2018
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"Suspenseful and elegiac, as beautiful as it is horrifying." --Karen Dionne
"A densely layered psychological mystery." --Chicago Tribune
"Reads like a collaboration between Daphne du Maurier and Megan Abbott." --The Irish Times
Over the course of one oppressively hot summer in the small town of Ponte, in northern Italy, one family's secrets are revealed and the community is torn apart by a terrible crime.
Sixteen-year-old Elia Furenti lives with his parents in a secluded house, a tight-knit family whose rhythms are dictated by the shifts in his father's emotional state. When the closure of the nearby factory leaves Elia's father without a job, however, home becomes an increasingly fraught environment. With the summer heat pressing down, Elia's father begins to spiral, his moods becoming increasingly dark and erratic, while Elia's mother refuses to acknowledge that anything has changed.
Meanwhile, a forbidden relationship blossoms, as Elia seeks refuge from the silence and tension at home. Events reach a breaking point one moonlit night, when a young woman climbs into a van and is taken into the deep, dark woods . . .
"Haunting, surreal, and deeply engaging, Elena Varvello's Can You Hear Me? is at once suspenseful and elegiac, as beautiful as it is horrifying, as Varvello takes us deep inside the mind and heart of sixteen-year-old Elia Furenti during his summer of change. Readers will devour this novel in one sitting as I did, then chew it over long after the book is done." -- Karen Dionne, internationally bestselling author of The Marsh King's Daughter
"A beautiful, stark, poignant account of fear, love, and loss." -- Emma Flint, author of Little Deaths
"A wonderfully anxiety-inducing read, where everyone is bubbling uneasily just below the surface." -- Claire Fuller, author of Our Endless Numbered Days
"Holds a magnifying glass to a family spiraling into darkness while simultaneously casting a net that ensnares the poignancy of the end of adolescence. We are swept away by the vivid characters as their dark and broken places are deftly revealed. Varvello's command of her story, and yet delicate delivery, makes for stunning writing. A smart, dark page-turner that lingers long after the last page." -- Kate Mayfield, author of The Undertaker's Daughter