Francesca Mautino

Francesca Mautino studied at the Scuola Holden school of creative writing before graduating in Cinema History and Critique. After she left university, she wrote television scripts, worked in a press agency, as teacher in London and in the communications department of a large company. She lives in Turin with her partner and two children. This is her debut novel.

Qualcuno che conoscevo

(Someone I Used to Know)

Casa Editrice Longanesi&C., January 2024

Valentina Bronti, thirty-six, is the mother of restless triplet girls and lives with her husband although they are separated. When she comes across an old missing-person case, she becomes fascinated by it to the point where it turns her life upside down.

A new protagonist – inquisitive and unpredictable – and a chance investigator.

A  witty novel about the issues of contemporary families and about all the women who try and find a balance between motherhood and a professional life.

Turin, 2022. Valentina no longer has a job. She has been on indefinite leave since her triplet girls were born. She lives with her husband Marco, although they are separated.

When her daughters stage an escape from their kindergarten, involving their friend Agnese, Valentina discovers that Chiara, Agnese’s mother, is the sister of Elisa Barberis, who vanished on 15 February 2012: she was about to graduate in Literature when she vanished into thin air after leaving the faculty.

Valentina becomes fascinated by this case and starts to investigate, involving her husband, with whom she reconciles. She manages to track down Elisa, who says that she killed herself metaphorically, unable to be herself in the roles the people around her expected her to play. The Elisa of once apon a time is only “someone I used to know” and it is what Valentina also thinks of her old self. She finally realises what she wants from life: to work on cold cases.


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