A crumbling farmhouse in Puglia, Casa Rossa was bought by Alina Strada’s grandfather at a time when no one else wanted it. Now busy preparing it for sale, Alina endeavors to recover the memories it still harbors—in particular of three women whose passions indelibly shaped her family’s dark past. There’s grandmother Renee, whose love of novelty won over everything else. Alina’s mother, Alba, whose marriage to a screenwriter inspired both great art and unbearable sadness. Finally Isabella, Alina’s sister, whose fervent politics drove her to ever-escalating betrayals. Moving from Jazz Age Paris to 1950s Rome to modern-day New York, but returning always to the uncompromising beauty of Italy’s south, Casa Rossa is a spellbinding story of how loves and losses, secrets and lies, resonate across the generations.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The End of Manners|
|Release Date: 05-20-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||The End of Manners|
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The End of Manners
“They won’t let us inside till the very last minute and it must be at least ten below out here . . .”
We were all standing perfectly still, under the flurries of snow. Out in the open, holding on to our luggage in front of the airport building, staring at the only being moving in this frozen scene. Imo Glass, of course. Measuring the parking lot in long strides, eyes to the ground. Shouting into her cell.
“What did you say? . . .”
She laughed and threw her head back to reveal her throat, drawing her Pakistani wool shawl tighter around her shoulders.
“Oh. No, I haven’t got a clue. I guess it’s because of car bombs, kamikaze, you tell me.”
The Western passengers, stiffened by the cold despite their thick quilted jackets and woolen beanies, were staring at her, mesmerized, without much sympathy, at least it seemed to me. Perhaps they resented the way Imo was insisting on pacing back and forth in the snow shielded by only her thin shawl, jeans and a pair of flats despite the polar temperature. Or perhaps they were annoyed by the way she kept laughing at the jokes of the mysterious party on the other end, lacking entirely the same worried look as the rest of us.
The Afghan passengers—all men, and a minority among us—although covered just as lightly as she by their pattus were eyeing her with visible hostility as well. A woman yelling and laughing on the phone in front of everyone as if she were on a stage was not exactly their idea of modest behavior.
“The thing is, this morning I gave all my warmest clothes away . . . What? Can you hear me? . . . Yes, I gave them to the