The house is floodlit; the crystal glasses are ready; the waiters and maids are lined up. A delicate Chanel dress lies on the bed. Eugenia De Gasperis is late for her father’s birthday party, and she knows full well that a celebration for a prominent Milanese entrepreneur such as her father will be no ordinary occasion. She enters the house in a hurry, and then she stops, taken aback: The drawing room is empty.
The news came a few days ago: The De Gasperis company’s huge building site has been seized, and Paolo, Eugenia’s father, has been charged with serious offenses. Lucy, his wife, is devastated: She can already see their assets confiscated, their family ruined.
But Eugenia does not know that everything is changing. She doesn’t want to know. Because not long ago, at university, she met Tobias, the first boy who has ever made her feel intelligent, straightforward, real. He is half German and has lived in Milan for a few months. He is far removed from the glittering world in which she has grown up; he doesn’t know anything about luxury or parties at the villa, and in Eugenia, he sees a depth she didn’t know she had. Together—on late-night strolls and stolen afternoons when they should be studying—they discover an unexpected city made up of cloisters and country roads off the beaten path. But dreams do not always last. Eugenia will eventually have to return home to stand by her family. And she will have to decide the destiny of her newly found love.
Giulia Ottaviano has written a page-turner, a book that tells of desires and fears as we experience them today.