“Dora always said that beautiful things fail if you put them in front of people who are not up to understanding them.”
The novel begins with a dismissal. A strong cut with the threads of the past unknown to the reader, which will be recomposed, in a soft emotional carpet. The victims of the dismissal, a group of four editors of a magazine, see their lives and planned lives reset to zero from one moment to the next. An unexpected electroshock, which everyone tries to absorb with their own ways and times, up to the total breakdown of the group.
Among the hapless there is Beatrice, forty years old, Roman by birth and experience, with a university career that never took off from her shoulders. She had accepted that job out of the need to bring home a salary. A short period of time before finding a rewarding job and in line with his training path. Unfortunately she hadn’t come to terms with the invisible, odorless and tasteless cage of the comfort zone. She finds herself thus sucked into the quicksand of the comfortable life to which she had adapted, with comfortable problems, needs to be satisfied and a familiar, daily and work routine, from which she would not have moved away if the end of the world had not come. Dismissal was the end of that world.
If that’s not enough, Beatrice’s brother adopted son will come to upset more and more her life. A child with whom she will build a strong relationship, perhaps even too much, which will make her rediscover forgotten emotions for too long, risking to undermine the relationship with her 20-year-old daughter.
In the book there is a lot of Rome, and we are not referring to tourist Rome, with monuments and churches and beautiful landscapes, but to the Rome of the broken interpersonal relationships, the job opportunities received through recommendations, the times of meteorologically slow reactions. An accurate and precise cross-section communicated exhaustively.
Writing flows away, but less fluid than we expected. The construction of some periods seemed too elaborate, when, for our tastes, much less was enough.
Lia Levi, The world started long ago, Edizioni e/o, Roma, 2005