THE musings of a successful man who has come to a crossroads in his life. Haunted by lost love, he reflects on societal alienation and disillusion and readies himself for a future that is just beyond the horizon. Piero Rivolta’s second novel is suffused with a melancholic longing and a metaphoric reaching toward grace. Told in a prose gentle and quiet, this elegiac tale of love and loss grips the imagination and attention of the reader from first page to last.
That day Albert turned fifty.
It was a Saturday. He was sitting at his usual table in a corner of the living room, in front of a window.
From his tenth-floor apartment he could see buildings of every size and semblance. Beyond some towering large trees, green swathes stretched out, with tiny squares and straight roads that intersected at right angles. Cutting across the cheerful disarray, typical of the cities of Florida in continuous flux and change, the line of the sea could be seen darting between one edifice and the next.
His building was smack in the middle of the life of the city, four blocks from the bay, which was dotted with several islands. The long ones to the west formed a barrier that separated the waters of the bay proper from the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Albert looked out his window and experienced a vision of sorts, which seemed to concretize his thoughts. The colors grew lusterless, the light became cloudy.
The cycle of love faded in the sun.
He sat immobile, as if turned to stone, incredulous that he had been able to grasp such a well-defined and visual phenomenon, which reflected what for days had been happening within him—love was fading in the sun. Indeed, he was so grim, so uptight that he had not noticed the mass of clouds thickening over the city.
Doggedly, he repeated out loud, "It's true, love fades in the sun."