An impossible love, a noble, expansive Sicily, and a musical demon. A passionate novel with the power of a classic.
Luigi has no worldly experience when, possessing only a few rags and the gift of an extraordinary tenor singing voice, he arrives in Sicily to seek his fortune. At the docks, as the crowd pushes him onto the gangway, he hears a sound emanating from a large black shape. It is a grand piano, and his instinct tells him to follow it.
Hidden between the legs of the instrument, he arrives in a wagon at Capo Scirocco, with its elegant buildings and great baroque theatre. Having spent the night without shelter, he is famished and exhausted—but before long, he encounters the warm-hearted Rita Agnello, a rich widow and rare beauty who welcomes him into her home. Months go by and Luigi learns to live like a young nobleman at the side of Donna Rita. He feels at ease in the salons of Capo Scirocco, delighting in the warm wind for which the city was named—and which they say drives women wild. Even Rita seems different now—more lively and graceful.
Then one day, Luigi discovers that the piano he caught sight of upon his arrival belongs to Anna, the daughter of a citrus-fruit merchant. Every evening, he listens to it from the street and dreams of singing. He is growing up, becoming a man . . . almost. When the scirocco blows, two women are too many to be on one young man's mind.