Limbo by Melania Mazzucco

By Melania Mazzucco

Manuela Paris, joven suboficial del ejército italiano, regresa en navidades a su pueblo, Ladíspoli, una pequeña ciudad de los angeles costa romana. Gravemente herida en un atentado durante una misión en Afganistán, vive en el limbo de una lenta recuperación, tanto física como psicológica, a l. a. espera de saber si volverá a ser declarada apta para el servicio. Mientras tanto, restablece los vínculos con su familia: su madre, su hermana, su sobrina, l. a. segunda esposa de su padre, su hermanastro, reencontrándose también con su propio pasado de adolescente problemática.
Al mismo tiempo, trata de recuperar también l. a. memoria de lo ocurrido en el frente de batalla, escribiendo para sí misma los recuerdos de una experiencia doblemente insólita: l. a. de los angeles mujer en un ambiente hostil de hombres, donde resulta muy difícil ganarse el respeto, especialmente el de sus subordinados, y l. a. de una europea en un país que se resiste a ser comprendido desde nuestra perspectiva cultural y cuya baza primary, el tiempo, es el important enemigo de las tropas occidentales.
Durante este largo proceso de asimilación de su pasado y de su presente, encuentra a Mattia, el misterioso y único huésped del lodge Bellavista, que vive también en el limbo de un secreto que se resiste a ser revelado y que puede explicar su negativa a todo compromiso. Juntos, tal vez sean capaces de redimirse y de aceptar que l. a. vida merece ser vivida, con todas sus consecuencias.
La novela de Melania Mazzucco, una estremecedora y emocionante historia épica de amor y de guerra, de sacrificio y de compromiso, de muerte y supervivencia, narrada con su ordinary maestría, ha recibido, entre otros, los Premios Elsa Morante, Rhegium Julii y Bottari Lattes Grinzane.
«Las novelas de Melania Mazzucco son siempre algo distinto a su argumento. Son los angeles vida misma» (A. Asor Rosa, l. a. Repubblica).
«Una gran novela contemporánea. Una historia hermosa, creíble, realista y, al mismo tiempo, imaginativa» (Wlodek Goldkorn, l'Espresso).
«No es una novela sobre los angeles guerra de Afganistán, o no sólo eso. Nos empuja a reflexionar sobre l. a. responsabilidad, sobre los desafíos que nos planteamos a nosotros mismos, sobre las huellas que dejan en nosotros y en los angeles más lábil que dejan fuera» (Paolo Di Paolo, Il Sole 24 Ore)

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Whenever it stopped of its own accord at one of those holes bordered with thorns that farmers dig along the edge of their ploughed land, Charles, waking with a start, would quickly remember the broken leg, and try to recall all the fractures that he knew. It was no longer raining; day was breaking, and, on the leafless branches of the apple trees, birds sat motionless, fluffing out their tiny feathers in the cold morning wind. The flat landscape extended as far as the eye could see, the clumps of trees round the farms making widely spaced splashes of dark purple on that vast grey surface which, at the horizon, merged with the dreary tones of the sky.

When he entered Les Bertaux his horse took fright, and shied violently. It was a prosperous-looking farm. Through the open half-doors of the stables you could see huge draught horses placidly feeding from brand-new mangers. A stream of vapour arose from the big manureheap that flanked the buildings, and, standing out among the hens and turkeys, five or six peacocks––that luxury of Pays de Caux farmyards––were pecking for food. The sheep-run was long and the barn tall, with walls as smooth as the back of your hand.

Père Rouault embraced his future son-in-law. They put off any discussion of money matters, there was plenty of time for that, since the marriage could not decently take place before the end of Charles’s mourning, that is to say, not until the following spring. The winter passed in waiting. Mademoiselle Rouault busied herself with her trousseau. Part of it was ordered from Rouen, and she made herself nightgowns and nightcaps with the help of fashionplates which she borrowed. During the visits Charles made to the Madame Bovary  farm they talked about the preparations for the wedding, wondering which room they’d use for the wedding feast, how many courses they’d have, and what particular dishes they’d serve.

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