Giulia Baldelli

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THE REMAINS OF THE SUMMER

(L’ESTATE CHE RESTA)

Guanda, January 2022


 

Rights sold: Dumont Buchverlag (Germany), Editorial Dos Bigotes (Spain), Melhoramentos (Brazil).

Rights: Worldwide

 

 

ENGLISH SAMPLE AVAILABLE

 

FINALIST AT MASSAROSA AWARD 2022

FINALIST AT LETTERARIA AWARD 2022

FINALIST AT DOLORES PRADO AWARD 2022

FINALIST AT SANT’ILPIDIO A MARE AWARD 2022

 

 

A SURPRISING DEBUT THAT BRINGS US INSIDE

OF A LOVE STORY THAT GOES BEYOND GENRES STEREOTYPES

 

THREE INTENSE CHARACTERS, FROM CHILDHOOD TO ADULT AGE: A FRIENDSHIP BORN IMMEDIATELY, BEAUTIFUL AS A BATH IN THE RIVER IN SUMMER, THAT TURNS INTO SOMETHING OVER THE YEARS MORE DEEP AND TOTALIZING.

 

A STORY THAT CELEBRATES LOVE IN ITS MOST TOUGH FORM, THE ONE WHO DOESN'T CARE ABOUT GENRES, SUPPORTS ABANDONMENTS AND IN THE END, WHEN BURNS, LEAVES A SPECIAL ASH FROM WHICH LOVE CANNOT BE REBORN.

 

“A story of clear writing, with continuous implications of waiting with its differentiated rhythms, thanks also to a rich world that revolves around the three protagonists, with many characters none of which superfluous and indeed well delineated even psychologically”. Ermanno Paccagnini, La Lettura Corriere della Sera

“As in a long sequence shot, this debut sneaks under the skin and makes us reflect on what has been, on what remains and on what, in order to survive, we had to let go." Marta Cervino, Marie Claire

"The thousand ways in which love dresses up, narrated in a story that does not care about genders and tolerates abandonment". Io Donna

“A stylistically mature novel, which tells a reckless and moving love story with many implications”. Giornale di Brescia, Francesco Mannoni

 

«I think that if one day love betrayed me, I would cut my hair» she whispers. Yet another oddity, hair and betrayal. I stand by, her back skin is stretched by the cold.  She says nothing more, then I ‘ll come out. «Not me» I tell her in a challenging tone.

For a few minutes she hides behind the towel, then she suddenly sits down. She has the marks of stones on her face and a sadness never seen before. She caresses my hand, stares at it for a long time without changing her expression.  

«It’s not my reassurance you want» I say.

«You’re wrong» she answers with a clear voice.

«I don’t think so» I stutter and I am ready to raise the flag of war. Ready to despair without restraint and to hang on to the fence so she doesn’t run away. Because insecurity is the worst enemy. It doesn’t need to move forward. It waits patiently, widens in the voids, feeds on doubt, manipulates the memory and encumbers every present moment to confuse the future. And in fact today, I am certain that I am thinking about Mattia, not her at that moment. It’s me sitting by his side in front of the clear waters, with the shortness of the breath and the absolute certainty that Cristi has resumed contacts with him and I cloud her voice.  I refuse to listen to her, to understand betrayal on our future.

Summer, early nineties. In a small town, Giulia, a particular intelligent child, daughter of a caring father and a rigid mother but always present, is forced to take care of Cristi, the Bolognese niece of Ida, an old friend of Giulia’s mother, who lives in the oldest and poorest part of the town.  After a first child’s hesitation, who is younger, silent and much more beautiful than her friends in the town, Giulia becomes curious about Cristi’s life.  She discovers that she is the daughter of Lilli, a young mother, and of a father who abandoned her soon after birth, but above all, she discovers that she is endowed with an extraordinary sensitivity. This pushes Giulia to bond deeply to the child, that despite the fact she speaks very little, she is able to understand her more than anyone else.  At the end of August just when Giulia realizes that her friend’s silences are due because of her inability to read and write, Lilli takes her daughter back to Bologna to leave her in the village again with her grandmother for the following summer. Giulia realizes that the feeling she feels for Cristi is much more than a friendship. However, Mattia, a child from Genoa, who spends his summers in the town and that immediately makes a breach in Cristi’s heart, even teaches her how to write. Giulia assists, in spite of herself and with great jealousy the beginning of their love which summer after summer, forces her to play an increasingly marginal role.  At the end of the fourth summer, events separate the three.  Cristi’s mother gets married with Fausto, a rich manager from the North of Italy and Cristi no longer gives news of herself. Mattia no longer returns to the town and he will follow his mother abroad after a few years.  Even Giulia’s life changes. Her father in fact, after a dismissal gets sick of a strong depression. This undermines the serenity and the family economic situation leads to the sale of the beloved family home.  Giulia and Cristi meet again in Bologna after ten years:  Giulia, brilliant law student is only obsessed by the desire to recover the childhood home. Cristi, first-year student of history, maintained by Lilli’s husband, is unable to study and completely alone. Giulia discovers herself to be still deeply in love with Cristi, who is confirmed to be the only person able to understand her, she welcomes her in the apartment and they establish a loving relationship. Also this time however, Mattia reappears and together with Cristi adheres to movements against globalization, while Giulia, now a career lawyer is forced to step aside again, spectator of a visceral love story between them. However events make sure that she does not detach from them, as Mattia is imprisoned because he was guilty of an arson attack on a bank of Bologna.  Giulia, at the request of Cristi’s parents, agrees to defend him while Cristi, destabilized by the arrest, confesses to be pregnant and begs her not to reveal the pregnancy to Mattia. Some years will follow in which Cristi’s traces are lost and Giulia is committed to defending Mattia at best, and building her reputation as a brilliant young lawyer, while Mattia studies in prison, determined to rebuild his life. It’s just a truce. Because the three end up meeting again after almost seven years, spending summers in the town. Giulia tells her story, now in her sixties and with a short future ahead. She tells us with intense and intriguing prose, often moving but always dry and clear, about love in its most tenacious form, the one that doesn’t care about genders, endures abandonment, betrays because betrayed and in the end, when it burns, it leaves special ash from which love can only be reborn. 

Pages 400

 

Giulia Baldelli was born in Fano on the Adriatic Sea in 1979. She moved to Bologna in 1998 where she graduated in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technologies. She works as an employee but has always cultivated a passion for reading and writing. She lives with her husband and her three children. L’Estate che Resta is her debut novel.