“The only mother I have never lost is the one of my fears.”

The story is that of the Arminuta, or “the return”. The protagonist does not have a proper name; she is just the Arminuta, and she is for everyone. Where does this girl have to go back?

A young girl, at the age of thirteen, must return to her real family, mother, father and brothers. And this is how our protagonist is not only the one who returns, but also the one who has always been abandoned, and above all, by the dearest affections, or by the family, that nest that should have kept her, and that at the age of six months he gives it to his uncles in the city.

The whole story revolves around the ability to adapt or rebel against the fate that Adalgisa, the unnatural mother, carefully designed for her, including the decision to return her to her legitimate parents.

A little teenager forced to abandon her family, which she always thought of as her own, friendships and first loves. Suddenly the whole colorful world of the city vanishes to be replaced by the dark colors of the land of the countryside, the acrid flavors of the country and the pungent smells of an old house to share with the new family. 

Reading is very fluent, dry and at the same time rich in the expressiveness that only the dialect can offer. The story is told in the first person by the protagonist: you have the perfect feeling that she is really a voice to tell you those events, they are so personal and subjective.

It seems to be an invitation to us readers to ask ourselves if what we know about ourselves is real, if what we possess is really ours. Not only that, it also seems to be a bell that goes on in our ears, because many points of the story screech and make us close our eyes, so much does that reality seem inconceivable. The whole story oscillates between a taste of disbelief and a sound of hard and strict adherence to the harsh truth.

It is the story of the strength of a premature girl who has to face the biggest questions of life from one day to the next, without protection and without love; it is the story of disturbances and emotions and affections killed by destiny. But there is even more: it is the story of friendship. Arminuta’s whole life revolves around the sincere relationships she creates, first with Patrizia, a sweet childhood friend, and then with Adriana, her rough and frank sister, who will forever win her heart and her admiration. . And finally, it is the story of a girl who is constantly forced to recalibrate the concept of “mother”.


Donatella Di Pietrantonio, L’arminuta, Einaudi, Torino, 2017

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