The Empire of Dirt A Novel
In this captivating English-language debut, three generations of women must face their secrets and regrets when an old family curse awakens. There has always been tension in "the blind house," where Valentina lives with her mother and grandmother in the Italian countryside. Valentina's pious grandmother often hints at a family curse, while Valentina's mother scoffs at superstition; it's one of the battlegrounds on which they fight to control Valentina's upbringing. But in the summer of 1996, when Valentina is twelve, she gets her period for the first time--and the curse suddenly becomes frighteningly real. Blood leaks from the walls; the house and farm are overrun with frogs; the kitchen crawls with flies. Valentina is certain that she has brought catastrophe to her house and its inhabitants. In this propulsive coming-of-age novel, of mother-daughter relationships and painful family legacies, Valentina is forever changed by the events of one terrifying summer.