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Marco Missiroli was born in Rimini, Italy. He is the author of the prize-winning novels Senza Coda, Il Buio Addosso and Bianco. The Sense of an Elephant was awarded the prestigious Campiello Prize in 2012. Marco writes for the culture pages of Corriere della Sera, and for Vanity Fair.
Pietro arrives in Milan with a battered suitcase full of memories, to take up a new job as concierge. Living in his palazzo are lost and eccentric souls: Poppi, a lawyer; Luciana and her son; and Luca, a doctor, whose wife Viola holds a secret that could destroy their marriage. Right from the start Pietro has a special interest in Luca and his family, and soon he's letting himself into their apartment while everyone is out. As his story emerges in snatches and flashbacks, each prompted by his case of treasures, we begin to find out what has brought him to be guardian here, so late in his life ...
A well-observed and beautifully written tale of Pietro who becomes concierge of a block of ten flats in a quiet Italian town. We get his interactions with the inhabitants and one family in particular. It is a gentle read with much minutiae of everyday living and the small events that make up most days. There is not much ‘story’ as such although there is lots going on. At the end you are brought up short with a couple of startling events.