Accabadora - Michela Murgia
A stunning portrait of rural Italy in the 1950s and “a touching meditation on life and death and the power of love to bind, transcend, and let go” (Publishers Weekly).
At one time betrothed to a fallen soldier, Bonaria Urrai of Sardinia has a long-held covenant with the dead. Midwife to the dying, easing their suffering and sometimes ending it, she is revered and feared in equal measure as her village’s Accabadora. When Bonaria adopts Maria, the unloved fourth child of a widow, she tries to shield the girl from the truth about her role as an angel of mercy.
Moved by the pleas of a young man crippled in an accident, Bonaria breaks her golden rule of familial consent. In the recriminations that follow, Maria rejects her and flees Sardinia for Turin. Adrift in the big city, Maria strives as ever to find love and acceptance, but her efforts are overshadowed by the creeping knowledge of a debt unpaid, of a duty and destiny that must one day be hers.
Accabadora is Michaela Murgia’s exceptional English-language debut and has been awarded seven major literary prizes, including Italy’s prestigious Premio Campiello.
“Poignant, honest, and magical, this is a dazzling story for the senses, and one I will not soon forget.” —Susan Sherman, author of The Little Russian