Il ladro di quaderni
Tora and Piccilli (north of Caserta), September 1942. Davide spends his days, sometimes even the night, with the pigs he guards: he knows them so well that he calls them by name. He limps from birth, and for this he is laughed at by his peers and mistreated by his father. Only Teresa, who works in the family rope factory and spends all her free time reading, has the courage to stand up for him.
Davide cannot imagine any other life but the one in Tora. Teresa, on the other hand, only repeats that one day she will go far away, and Davide knows she is telling the truth. The arrival of thirty-six Jews from Naples, sent to the village by the fascist authorities, will change their lives forever. Nicolas, with his restless beauty, brings with him an unknown world and disrupts their days. Davide begins to secretly attend the classes of Nicolas’s father, who has set up an underground school. And so the illiterate son of a fascist learns to read and write thanks to a Jew.
Davide, Teresa, and Nicolas explore together the countryside around the village, as far as the Devil’s Steeps (popular belief has it that the footprints of the evil one are imprinted on the slope of the extinct volcano), but also the unexpressed world of their feelings.
The ghost of Nicolas will accompany Davide in the years to come, in Naples after the war. When he will work hard in the factory, when he will accidentally begin to attend a theater company, when – now a man, another man – he will tread the stage as an acclaimed actor. It will be Nicolas himself, alive and yet so much like a ghost, who will lead him back to Tora, to where it all began.