Fontamara

From  Elaine Pasquali

Title:  Fontamara 

Author:  Ignazio Silone

This novel speaks to the transformation of poverty-stricken southern Italy under Mussolini’s fascist regime.  Amoral familism gives way to class consciousness and the patron- peasant relationship goes from mutually beneficial to exploitative without protection.  Silone uses the theft of water, the peasants’ vital resource, to tell his story.  A peasant, Bernardo, becomes their leader, and, in the end, their martyr.  Silone recounts the peasants’ story in a compassionate, reality-based manner.  A deeply moving and memorable novel that I appreciate more each time I read it.

 

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