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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.