The story takes place in Girifalco, a little town near Catanzaro, in Calabria, during the months before July 20th 1969, the day of mankind’s landing on the Moon. The main character is a postman, one of the many literary character who play the role of the inepts: he’s a man without qualities, affected with an inner inability in truly living his own life. Therefore, thanks to his profession and to a peculiar natural gift – his ability in reproducing anyone’s handwriting – he lives through other people’s life (but also inside his own memory of some old events): he reads and keeps away, by copying them, all of the letters coming inside and going outside Girifalco, moreover, he sometimes rewrites them, intervening in his fellows’ destiny. To say it with the author’s words, he “found an adeguate consolation in others’ paper lives”. When he opens a sealed envelope (a love letter addressed to some Maria Teresa, or maybe – who knows – some Teresa), the story sets off, in a concatenation of events tangled up together in different ways. Through homonymies and misinterpretations, considerations about the real meaning of life and unfathomable rules of fate, through a series of unlikely coincidences, the parallel and secret stories (tragic ill-fated love stories, emigrations, separations) of his countrymen, along with an affair of political corruption, fraud and land exploitation (Mount Covello deforestation, in return for a mythical factory), up to the conclusive solution of the various bindings of the story.
A novel somehow out of time, with a style harmoniously swinging from a very high literary to dialectal (Calabrian) expressions, in a continuous flow between classical references (the three old twin ladies, echoing the Fates, the postman recalling Hermes) and country culture and superstitions (the jinx). The author, with his melancoly gaze on the world, on mankind, on love, manages to raise this microcosm to change it into a universe where anyone can find everlasting human passions and emotions.