On June 9, 1901, a girl steps off the train from Paris at the station in Viareggio, an Italian town along the Mediterranean. Her name is Daniela. Waiting to welcome her is the celebrated Italian actress Eleonora Duse. So begins Rosa Alberoni's saga Symphony.

The story covers a century of life and history and embraces a series of extremely diverse eras - beginning with the Belle Époque, then moving on to the First World War, Fascism, World War Two, and the Post-war period, only to end with the 1960s student protest movement. The novel narrates the tale of four generations, each with their own special dramas, loves, political struggles, victories, defeats, and dreams. In the first era, we encounter Daniela and Massimiliano; in the second era, their son Amadeo and Maddalena; the third era covers the life of Amedeo's daughter Chiara and her Michel; and in the fourth era we meet their twins, Beatrice and Luca. Four ways of feeling, four ways of viewing the world, four ways of speaking and interacting - like the four movements of a symphony.

This magnificent historical novel provides readers a panoramic view of twentieth- century events in Italy, with all its pomp, grandeur, misery, heroism, and horrors. As in any great tale of fiction based partly on fact, Symphony offers us innumerable snippets of historical events and glimpses at real-life characters. Alongside La divina Duse, we find Gabriele D'Annunzio, Giacomo Puccini, Isadora Duncan, and Tommaso Marinetti. Above all, we find love ... for a historical saga is always about love, and about how each generation and era has its own immense love story to tell - a passionate and sometimes tragic story that is nevertheless as unfailingly true and vibrant as it is profoundly human. Ultimately, this love emerges as the first and final reason for life, the universal glue that holds together over time both human existence and this, our story.

A story that allows for adventures and, on occasion, even a mystery or two. A novel that is as much an epic as it is a romance. A book that at the same time as it expands on history narrows in on the personal and intimate, and in doing so records the exhilarating yet tragic flow of life.

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