A drama of love, art and divided loyalties, set against the violent background of Fascist Italy
May 10th, 1930. Emilio, Arturo, and Nina, the woman they both love, speed through the Italian hills en route to a glamorous and exclusive Futuristic dinner party, at which the great Marinetti will be the guest of honour.
The two men, young painters whose rivalry simmers beneath the surface of their friendship, hope the evening will launch glittering careers. Yet success in a Fascist State will force impossible choices on them both. Arturo must choose between his gnawing ambition and his love for Nina. Emilio, haunted by his last visit to his elderly uncle – hospitalised after being brutally beaten up for his political views – must decide whether he can live with himself if he yields to the blandishments of success.
For Nina, the stakes are even higher. Her husband Amedeo disappeared a year earlier: rumours still circulate that he was involved in a plot against Mussolini. And at the party there is a mysterious guest – a man highly placed within the regime, who she fears has good reason to wish her harm.
Against the stunning background of the Italian Alps and an extraordinary meal that is a work of art in itself, the evening ticks inexorably towards an explosive and unpredictable climax.
Ian Breckon lives in Bath. His first novel, Knight of the Swords, was published by Old Street in 2009.