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Pietro is a lonely boy living in Milan. With his parents becoming more distant each day, the only thing the family shares is their love for the Dolomites, the mountains that hug the northeastern border of Italy.
While on vacation at the foot of the mountains, Pietro meets Bruno, an adventurous, spirited local boy. Together they spend many summers exploring the mountain's meadows and peaks and discover the similarities and differences in their lives, their backgrounds, and their futures. The two boys come to find the true meaning of friendship and camaraderie, even as their divergent paths in life - Bruno's in the mountains, Pietro's in cosmopolitan cities across the world - test the strength and meaning of their connection.
A modern Italian masterpiece, The Eight Mountains is a lyrical coming-of-age story about the power of male friendships and the enduring bond between fathers and sons. "There are no more universal themes than those of the landscape, friendship, and becoming adults, and Cognetti's writing becomes classical (and elegant) to best tell this story...a true novel by a great writer" (Rolling Stone Italia).
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Lavarm on 03-26-18
Achingly beautiful book about the mountains, families, and friendship
I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a book this much since I read Of Mice And Men in high school.
On the surface, this is the story of two boyhood friends who spend their summers together in the Italian Alps. But just beneath the surface, in the subtext, it is a poignant tale of regret, missed opportunity, relationships, and loss.
Pietro, a boy who grows up in big city Milan, never develops the same passion for mountaineering that obsesses his father; however, his best friend, Bruno, does. After Pietro leaves to make his way in the world, Bruno steps in as the surrogate son. In the hands of a lesser author the story could have devolved into jealousy, spite, and sentimentality, but not here. Pietro and Bruno, two imperfect young men trying to make their way, their own way, in a changing world, remain close to the end despite disappointments and mistakes.
I would recommend this book for anyone who loves the mountains or who has ever loved anyone who is imperfect—father, mother, or friend.
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