Concita De Gregorio
Mi sa che fuori è primavera (I Think It’s Spring Outside)
A novel, Feltrinelli 2015, 128 pages

Premio Ninfa Galatea 2015, Premio Brancati 2016

Foreign rights: silvia.ascoli@feltrinelli.it

From a tragic event a heart rending novel of love and hope.  

In Japan, when an object of value is broken, it’s repaired with liquid gold. This is an ancient technique designed to show rather than hide the fractures, which are considered a virtue: golden scars, a proud sign of rebirth. The same is true for people. Those who have suffered are precious; often, fragility  transmogrifies into strength. And in these cases the technique that typically welds the pieces back together again is called love.

I Think It’s Spring Outside is the story of Irina, a woman who has not forgotten her painful past; on the contrary, she holds it close to her chest like a flower. Only four years ago, Irina had a serene, orderly life. A husband, twin daughters. An Italian living in Switzerland, she’d forged a successful career as a lawyer. But then the serenity cracked. Her marriage ended, civilly enough. She and her husband, Mathias, agreed to share custody of the girls. And on a weekend like any other, Alessia and Livia went to stay with their father for the weekend – but never came home. Mathias was found dead in southern Italy a few days later, of an apparent suicide. The six-year-old twins have never been found.  A gripping psychological thriller as well as a clear-eyed portrait of a modern and courageous yet sensitive woman, I Think It’s Spring Outside describes the process by which Irina picks up the shattered pieces of her life and slowly, bravely, puts them together again. Out of a brutally painful past emerges a glimmer of light. Also emergent is the ability to love again, and better: to experience a respectful, trusting, and steadfast love that heals.

From the simple, terrible facts of the true story of Irina Lucidi and Mathias Schepp – a story that has fascinated the world ever since the couple’s children disappeared without a trace in January of 2011 – Concita De Gregorio has created a powerful and absorbing narrative that evokes the full spectrum of emotion and existence for this mother mercilessly deprived of her children. She makes the illuminating point that we have no word for such a person: a woman who has lost her husband is a widow; a child who has lost his parents is an orphan, but what do we call a parent who has lost a child? The magnitude of society’s inability to contend with Irina’s grief is just one of the themes touched upon here with grace and wisdom – in letters, monologues, lists, and exquisite descriptions of what it’s like to lose those most dear to you, and against all odds to find a new mooring.

 

Praise from the readers:

«It gives you goosebumps.»

«I loved this book wholeheartedly.»

«One of the deepest and most touching books I’ve ever read.»

«An intense, looming novel, to be read in one breath.»

«It is a hard, terrible story, but it is also a story on overcoming hardships. Or, rather, on acceptance and life. Without morbidity. Without delving into the pain. A beautiful book.»

«Concita De Gregorio is a great professional, who knows how to give a voice to the stories, to leave a positive mark in this world.»

Concita De Gregorio

Concita De Gregorio
A journalist and a writer, Concita De Gregorio has been writing for la Repubblica for many years, and now she writes the column Invece Concita. She also has a column on the weekly magazine D. She has been the editor of l’Unità from 2008 to 2011. She started the online project Cosa pensano le ragazze, which ran on Repubblica.it from the 8th of March 2016 to the 8th of March 2017. She hosted the Rai 3 television program Pane quotidiano, created and hosted FuoriRoma (Rai 3) and hosted the 2017 daily reports Da Venezia è tutto from Venice Film Festival. On Radio Capital she has been author and host of Cactus – Basta poca acqua, winner of Diversity Media Award 2019.

She published Non lavate questo sangue (2001), Una madre lo sa (2006), Malamore (2008), Un paese senza tempo (2010), Così è la vita (2011), Io vi maledico (2013), Un giorno sull’isola (2014), Mi sa che fuori è primavera (2015, Premio Ninfa Galatea, Premio Brancati), that in 2017 was adapted for the theatre and acted by Gaia Saitta and directed by Giorgio Barberio Corsetti, Cosa pensano le ragazze (2016), that inspired the docu-film Lievito madre (2017), signed with Esmeralda Calabria, Non chiedermi quando (2016), Chi sono io? (2017), Princesa e altre regine (2018), Nella notte (2019) and In tempo di guerra (2019). She wrote a monologue for the photography book Prima, donna (2020) by Margaret Bourke-White. Her most recent book is Lettera a una ragazza del futuro (2021).

In 2019 she won Premio Arrigo Benedetti for journalism and Premio Legalitria.

 

Praise from the readers:

«It gives you goosebumps.»

«I loved this book wholeheartedly.»

«One of the deepest and most touching books I’ve ever read.»

«An intense, looming novel, to be read in one breath.»

«It is a hard, terrible story, but it is also a story on overcoming hardships. Or, rather, on acceptance and life. Without morbidity. Without delving into the pain. A beautiful book.»

«Concita De Gregorio is a great professional, who knows how to give a voice to the stories, to leave a positive mark in this world.»

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