Pub Date 05 Jun 2018
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1978. Ponte, a small community in Northern Italy: peaceful woods, discarded rubbish, a closed-down factory. An unbearably hot summer, like so many others--wilted flowers and trips to the waterfalls.
Elia Furenti is sixteen, living in a secluded house with his parents, a life so unremarkable that even its moderate unhappiness has been accepted as normal. Then a new friend arrives in Ponte, firmly propelling Elia to the edge of adulthood, and everything starts to unravel.
Elia's father, Ettore, is let go from his job, and he begins to lose himself in the darkest corners of his mind. A young boy is murdered, shaking the small community to its core. And a girl climbs into a van and vanishes in 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