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Before the Earthquake

by Maria Allen

I read this coming of age mystery in one sitting and loved the way in which 15-year-old Concetta's character develops as she tries to remember what happened to her before the earthquake. I also enjoyed the author's depiction of rural life in early 20th century Italy.

Extract

Concetta remained standing in the same place, unsure whether she would follow them or not. She wanted to turn round and go away, not back to the empty little house, but beyond the forest and the river, beyond San Michele even. Far enough away that she would never have to sniff the mufita on the wind. One of the goats gave a muffled bleat and she realized she’d been half strangling it. She opened her hand to release the goats and they skipped away towards the fields.

Parallels

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
 

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