Fate and free will shape the arc of a powerful, mysterious romance in an isolated Italian Alpine town in this gorgeously written novel from the internationally bestselling author of The Eight Mountains.
Leaving Milan and an old love behind, Fausto moves to Fontana Fredda—Cold Fountain—a small, remote village high in the mountains. Out of the way and off the beaten path, Fontana Fredda is a tourist town that operates by its own rules, sense of time, movement of seasons. Its citizens lead quiet but complex lives—and Fausto is attracted to that contrast. He begins working as a chef in a restaurant owned and run by the middle-aged Babette, and soon falls into a brief yet passionate affair with Silvia, a waitress there. Quickly becoming inseparable, Fausto and Silvia make the most of their time together, until ski season ends and they must part ways.
When his tentative return to the city proves unsatisfying, Fausto goes back to Fontana Fredda to find Silvia, only to learn that she has left. While away, Silvia begins to look for her own path. In her summer travels, she meets a Nepalese mountain guide who introduces her to the teachings of the Buddha.
With the turn of seasons, Fausto and Silvia are brought together once again. But their reunion is bittersweet; each has been profoundly changed by the winds of time. While Fausto is eager to pick up where they left off, Silvia is uncertain. Life, as she has discovered, contains endless possibilities.
Structured in short, distilled chapters, Paolo Cognetti's luminous, atmospheric novel offers an elegant, intelligent twist on the classic "starcrossed” love story. Empathetic and achingly evocative, it is a beautiful meditation on our infinite search to understand the mysteries of life and find our place in the universe.
Translated from the Italian.