The House on Moon Lake, by Francesca Duranti. Published 2000 by Delphinium Books. Literary Fiction. Translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli.
Fabrizio Garrone is a translator from a wealthy family whose fortunes have faded. His best friend Mario, who grew up idolizing Fabrizio and his refined family, is now Fabrizio's boss at an Italian publishing house, and Fabrizio is struggling to keep afloat both his career and his foundering relationship with Fulvia, his on-and-off-again girlfriend of many years.
One day Fabrizio stumbles on what he believes will be a literary firecracker- an unknown book, a masterpiece really, just waiting to be brought to light. The discovery shatters Fabrizio's life; the book's explosive success, and Fabrizio's newfound role, take him places he never dreamed he would go.
And this book was nothing like what I expected. What starts as a literary detective story becomes a tale of obsession and annihilation, narrated in luminous prose by a woman who is becoming one of my favorite writers. The title is that of the book Fabrizio discovers, a love story so beautiful that Fabrizio becomes set on finding out the truth of it. Duranti maintains the suspense the whole way even as the story takes some very strange twists. At the end I didn't quite know what to think; the mysteries are irresistible and hard to forget.
I don't know if this book is published in the United States; I tracked down a used copy published the UK after having Duranti recommended to me as an excellent literary Italian writer. She is, and her books are worth your while to track down.
FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review.