From acclaimednovelist Mark Helprin comes a lush, literary epic about love, beauty, and theworld at war.
Alessandro Giuliani, the young son of aprosperous Roman lawyer, enjoys an idyllic life full of privilege: he raceshorses across the country to the sea, he climbs mountains in the Alps, and,while a student of painting at the ancient university in Bologna, he falls inlove. Then the Great War intervenes. Half a century later, in August of 1964,Alessandro, a white-haired professor, tall and proud, meets an illiterate youngfactory worker on the road. As they walk toward Monte Prato, a village seventykilometers away, the old man—a soldier and a hero who became a prisoner andthen a deserter, wandering in the hell that claimed Europe—tells him how hetragically lost one family and gained another. The boy, envying the richnessand drama of Alessandro’s experiences, realizes that this magnificent tale isnot merely a story: it’s a recapitulation of his life, his reckoning withmortality, and, above all, a love song for his family.