Ecco Press, Paperback, 9780061572944, 432pp.
Publication Date: April 2011
On the shores of the Mediterranean, exhausted from an afternoon of surfing, Pietro Paladini is shaken out of his stupor by a distant noise. Over there! he cries to his brother, Carlo, sunning beside him. Over there!
So begins the adventure that will tear a hole in Pietros life. For while he and his brother struggle to save two drowning swimmers, a tragedy is unfolding down the road at his summer cottage. Instead of coming home to a heros welcome, Pietro is greeted by the flashing lights of an ambulance, the wide-eyed stare of his young daughter, Claudia, and the terrible news that his fiancÉe, Lara, is dead.
Life must go on. Or does it? Pietro, a true iconoclast, has to find his own way. When he drops Claudia off for the first day of school, he decides to wait outside for her all day, and then every day. To protect her. To protect himself. To wait for the heavy fist of grief to strike. But as the days and weeks go by, the small parking lot in front of the school becomes his refuge from the world as well as the place where family and colleagues come to relieve their own sufferingamong them, the woman he rescued from the waves. And Pietro plunges deeper into the depths of his life before seeing the simple truth before his eyes.Sandro Veronesi makes art of every detail, creating a mosaic of humor, hope, profound insight, and emotional resonance. Quiet Chaos is an unprecedented portrayal of a life set adrift by death.
“Mr. Veronesi sustains the opening scene’s excitement as he stirs a psychological ferment….The overpowering sense of fragility that touches Pietro and Claudia is superbly conveyed by translator Michael F. Moore. Let’s hope more novels from Mr. Veronesi’s back catalog join ‘Quiet Chaos’ in translation.”
-Wall Street Journal
“Dazzling.... Like a literary Fellini, Veronesi brings to life the larger-than-life human comedy as only an Italian would dare, uproariously funny in the face of stark tragedy. It’s a reading experience not to be missed.”
“[An] absorbing second novel.”