From Publishers Weekly
With this story of a tragic romance, as told by a father to his comatose teenage daughter, Italian actress and novelist Mazzantini plays with the choices people make as they construct narratives, especially what they remember and tell in times of crisis. The decision to frame the narrative as a father's confession makes for an odd conceit, considering the lurid details the protagonist shares about his sex life with both his wife and lover. Timoteo is a successful surgeon with a distant relationship with his beautiful wife and a sexually obsessive relationship with his mistress, Italia. He is selfish and capricious (he meets with Italia just hours after his daughter Angela's birth), but he also exhibits flashes of lucidity that make him an engaging if maddening narrator. "You've learned more about me from my absences, my books, my raincoat in the hall, than you have from my flesh-and-blood self," he tells his unconscious daughter, Angela. Mazzantini keeps the plot moving, shifting quickly between Timoteo's memories and his agonizing wait during Angela's surgery. Too often, though, her prose is overwrought and clumsy: Timoteo relates that his lover's tears "burned [him] like lava," and describes himself waiting in the hospital after Angela's birth like "a moth that's been trapped in a room too long... its wings as heavy as cork." Timoteo's honesty offsets the turgid writing in this enjoyable if somewhat awkward novel, as he traces the trajectory of the sordid relationship that still haunts him, from the "viscid pleasure" in its illicit sex to its predictable aftermath.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Praise for Don’t Move
“Margaret Mazzantini’s prose is singular, refined, rich in imagery, and instantly recognizable. Every sentence, every word seems to have been chosen after careful scrutiny, brightening the texture of the narrative like so many cunningly mounted pearls.” —Corriere della Sera
“[Don’t Move]’s pitiless psychological insight, ferocious existential probing, and rare emotional impact instantly reveal the writer’s lofty intelligence and moral force.” —Diario
“A writer of great talent and intelligence, a narrator of surprising honesty, whose work does honor to our literature.” —Oggi