From PEN/Hemingway award winner Brigid Pasulka, the “charming…refreshing tale” (The New York Times Book Review) of a widowed butcher and his son whose losses are transformed into love in a small town on the Italian Riviera.
In the seaside village of San Benedetto, twenty-two-year-old Etto finds himself adrift. Within the past year, Etto has not only lost both his twin brother and his mother, but in his grief has become estranged from his father, the local butcher. While his father passes the time with the men of the town in the fine tradition of Italian men everywhere—a reverential obsession with soccer—Etto retreats ever further from his day-to-day life, seeking solace in the hills above the town.
But then a Ukrainian soccer star, the great Yuri Fil, sweeps into San Benedetto, taking refuge himself from an international scandal. Soon Yuri and his captivating sister Zhuki invite Etto into their world of sport, celebrity, loyalty, and humor. Under their influence, Etto begins to reconstruct his relationship with his father and, slowly, open himself back up to the world. Who knows: perhaps the game of soccer isn’t just a waste of time, and perhaps San Benedetto, his father, love, and life itself might have more to offer him than he ever believed possible.
“Full of light and surprising grace, [The Sun and Other Stars] is both a poetic coming-of-age story and a poignant examination of the nature of family and belonging” (The Boston Globe). It is a gorgeous, celebratory novel about families, compromise, and community, a big-hearted masterpiece that showcases a writer at the joyful height of her talents.