OUT OF A SEASON
Gabriella Mautner's critically acclaimed first novel, "OUT OF A SEASON" was first published by Thomas Y. Crowell, New York, and has recently been reissued by iUniverse 2011.
Vacationing with her parents at the seaside town of Rimini, Italy, thirteen-year-old Nicole Steiner meets a charming young man of vague background and vague intentions. Dario Ventura, who introduces himself as a count, becomes a constant guest of the Steiners. Back at home in Turin, Nicole finds it hard to concentrate in school, and soon forgets her girlhood pastimes for hours spent in his company.
For the next three years, Dario is the focal point of Nicole's life. She falls in love with him and painfully begins to suspect that though he returns her affection he may also have become her mothers' lover. The relationship is complicated all the more by the strong tie between mother and daughter. Nicole's feelings for her mother are alternately colored by love, hate, jealousy and compassion.
Through the smokescreen of her overwhelming emotion, Nicole views the still forbidden world of the adults in her life. They are her mother, Clarisse, who is far from resigned to the emptiness of her marriage; Nicole s father whose preoccupation with his business leaves little time for his family; Sandra Manetti, Nicole s idealistic tutor and friend; Lorenzo Manetti, Sandra s brother, a blind anti-Fascist playwright who wins Nicole over to his cause; Zita, the Steiners chatty maid; and Dario Ventura, winning and selfish, sensitive and ruthless and, with all his faults, Nicole's overwhelming first love. Dario is, in essence, the catalyst who so disrupts the members of the Steiner family that they are compelled to reevaluate themselves and their feelings for one another.
Nicole's story is told with the bittersweet intensity of adolescence. She experiences her first passion and painfully gropes for a new woman's identity. Woven into her tale is the atmosphere of pre-war Italy the city streets, the people, the cafes and piazzas, and the long ripe summers at the seashore.
"OUT OF A SEASON" is available at iUniverse.com.