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Out of a Season
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BOOK DETAILS

  • Paperback
  • May.02.2011
  • 9781450267816

Gabriella gives an overview of the book:

Vacationing with her parents at the seaside in Rimini, Italy, young Nicole Steiner falls in love with a charming Italian nobleman. Soon after, Dario Ventura frequently visits with the Steiners in Turin. Though he returns her affection, Nicole begins to suspect that he has become her mother's lover. The relationship is complicated by the strong tie between mother and daughter, and Nicoles's rejection of her stern father. Woven through the tale is the rich atomsphere of pre-war Italy.
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Vacationing with her parents at the seaside in Rimini, Italy, young Nicole Steiner falls in love with a charming Italian nobleman. Soon after, Dario Ventura frequently visits with the Steiners in Turin. Though he returns her affection, Nicole begins to suspect that he has become her mother's lover. The relationship is complicated by the strong tie between mother and daughter, and Nicoles's rejection of her stern father.

Woven through the tale is the rich atomsphere of pre-war Italy.

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Day after day Dario joined us under our umbrella at the beach. As soon as he came my father would appro­priate him. He would read to him from a Swiss paper and then, with a strategic finger, would clarify the inter­national situation. He would use periods of history to ex­plain his point, tracing comparisons with what had hap­pened centuries ago and must consequently happen again.

"Mark my word, Signor Ventura, it won't be long be­fore there will be another war. Why, it's enough to read Mein Kampf. The man's a maniac, and he means what he says! Have you read Mein Kampf, Signor Ventura?"

"No," Dario said. "I can't stand the style. It's so vulgar." "But you should read it. We all should know what sooner or later we shall have to face."

"You are probably right, Mr. Steiner. This is the age of vulgarity, and we might as well imbue ourselves with it."

"My dear young man, how old are you?"

"Twenty-five," Dario said.

"Then it should concern you especially. You will be called to arms, or have you completed your military service?

"I haven't even begun," Dario said.

"And you do, as I understand," Father went on, "be­long to the nobility?"

"In name only, sir. I know we are dying out, but I do so want to die beautifully." Dario sighed, stretched himself on the sand and bedded his head on my mother's rubber pillow.

Mother and I exchanged quick smiles. I could see princes and noblewomen charmingly swoon all over the beach, and thought if nobility were like Dario it would indeed be a pity if it was to come to an end.

"This is no trifling matter." My father shook his head disapprovingly. "We are heading for a world catastro­phe."

Dario had noticed that Father's outlook on the future became particularly gloomy when he hadn't slept well, which caused an exacerbation of his inborn pessimism, and pessimists, in the long run, Dario had said, are always right.

My mother would rob Father of our friend for a game of chess or tennis across the promenade, and I was left with the crumbs from the rich man's table: a quick, understanding glance, a remark every now and then, or a plunge into the water where Dario chased after me as I swam away. Father used to dip his feet carefully, then wet his arms and chest, then disappear up to his knees, then wet himself some more and sink down inch by inch. Mother swam slowly and evenly, like a contented duck, her face held stiff above the water.

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About Gabriella

Gabriella Mautner was born and raised in Chemnitz, East Germany. At the onset of the Nazi regime her family left for Turin, Italy. Shortly before WWII she moved with her parents to Holland. In the midst of the war, barely escaping a call to leave for concentration camp, the...

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