General Fiction

Quello che si salva

(What Stays Behind)

Garzanti, September 2020, pp.288

An old spinning top in a Rome shop window takes Giulia back to her youth, the fight for freedom against the Nazi enemy and, above all, her first love.

A hymn to women, their strength and their hearts, capable of withstanding any blow.


In 1940s Rome, a new love blossoms beneath the Nazi yoke. Giulia, a young woman who until now has used her delicate fingers only to touch the keys of a piano, has to grab a pistol in order to defend what she believes in. Fear vanishes when she’s at Leo’s side but, unfortunately, the young man disappears after an enemy attack. Moreover, this object, a spinning top Leo gave his beloved in case anything happened to him, is nowhere to be found. At least until many years later when Giulia, now elderly, finds herself staring at that same top in a shop window, and powerful memories come flooding back. All she can do is share her story with her granddaughter Flavia and tell her that it’s not true that the memory of loved ones leaves a hollow inside us. On the contrary, it always fills us with their protection, and all you have to do is not be afraid of listening to its echo, however distant.

Garzanti, September 2020, pp.288

Silvia Celani

Silvia Celani lives on the outskirts of Rome in a house in a house surrounded by greenery, where she likes to invite friends for lunches and dinners which tend to go on for ever. She adores books, the sea and the Nutella-smeared faces of her children at breakfast. She is certain Walt Disney was right: “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Garzanti published her first novel Ogni piccola cosa interrotta (Every Interrupted Little Thing, 2019).

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