The story of the Bandini family over a bleak winter. Arturo Bandini later the protagonist in Ask the Dust and The Road to Los Angeles lives with his father, mother and brothers in bleak poverty. Whilst Arturo lies and steals from his mother and generally misbehaves at school he tries to woo the heart of Rosa a beautiful Italian classmate. His father (Svevo Bandini) unable to bricklay during the frozen winter drinks and gambles and finally gets some work with Mrs Hildegarde a wealthy widow. Mrs Hildegarde takes a shine to Svevo and Svevo is only too pleased to oblige and moves in with her leaving his wife Maria in an agony of jealousy and hurt. Arturo tries to pacify his mother by saying his father is staying with a friend but goes to confront his father at Mrs Hildegarde's house. Hard, working class Svevo is swayed by his son and together they march home to reunite the family. Meanwhile Rosa after being pushed over by Arturo during an argument has died of pneumonia. A story of the poverty of Italian immigrants, struggling love and the claustrophobia of small family life.
The review of this Book prepared by John Marcel