After a harrowing voyage from Italy, during which his mother died, seven-year-old Vittorio arrives in Canada with his newborn half-sister, and is reunited with his estranged father, a dark, isolated, and angry figure he hardly knows. The story that follows spans two decades of Vittorio’s life within an immigrant Italian farming community in Southwestern Ontario, through his university years, and then into Africa where he goes to teach. At the centre of Vittorio’s existence is his strained relationship with his father and with his half-sister, Rita. In a Glass House is a haunting tale about perseverance and longed-for redemption. Ricci juxtaposes the intimate, complex world of family, with “its shadowy intricate web of alliances,” against the dislocations of the immigrant experience. The result is a richly textured and memorable novel.
About the author
NINO RICCI's best-selling Lives of the Saints (published in the United States as The Book of Saints) won the Governor General's Award for fiction, the SmithBooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the F. G. Bressani Prize. The New York Times Book Review hailed it as “an extraordinary story — brooding and ironic, suffused with yearning, tender and lucid and gritty . . . [The author has] perfect pitch and brilliant descriptive powers.” This was the first book in a trilogy and was followed by In a Glass House — “beautifuly written and tireless in its pursuit of emotional truth” (Times Literary Supplement) — and Where She Has Gone, which was a finalist for the Giller Prize.
“The exactitude and delicacy with which the smallest details, the finest nuances, are rendered, demonstrates Ricci’s mastery as a colourist of the human heart.…A dizzying display of virtuosity.…”
–Quill & Quire (starred review)
“A haunting, lyrical, intelligent coming-of-age novel…the acuity of its observations, the eloquence of its prose and the hard-earned wisdom of its final pages make it a genuine achievement.”
–New York Times
“Ricci’s great gift is to capture, sometimes in exquisite prose, the texture of people and place.…”
“Brilliant.…There is little doubt that Nino Ricci is one of Canada’s best novelists to appear in a long time.”
–The Spectator (U.K.)