In To the Wedding John Berger offers us a sharply modern situation set in the traditionally pastoral and idyllic background of rural Europe. Beautiful, vibrant Ninon falls in love and becomes engaged to a young Italian, Gino, but soon before their wedding she discovers that she has contracted HIV through a brief encounter several years earlier. She tries to break the engagement but Gino, in an act of passionate and redemptive love, insists that the marriage will occur. The wedding itself, celebrated in a little village on the Po delta, becomes a magical feast in which all the novel's lost and searching souls, including Ninon's grieving father, Jean, and her mother, Zdena, a Slovakian intellectual who left Jean and Ninon many years earlier, are drawn into the joyful circle and regenerated by the power of Gino and Ninon's timeless love. Berger demonstrates that even the cruelest fate can be endured and even transcended through courage, love, and determination.
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