Having made his fortune in America, Eel is magnetically drawn back to the Piedmontese countryside where he grew up poor and illegitimate. Spending the summer wandering its valleys and vineyards with his childhood friend Nuto, Eel obsessively returns in memory to the farm where he worked as an adolescent, and to his employer's beautiful daughters. The landscape and its people seem locked in timeless rituals; but as Eel discovers the secret stories of the partisans who hid out in the hills during the war, he comes to recognize that the truth is both more complicated and more disturbing.
Pavese is one of the few essential novelists of the mid-twentieth century
Pavese's nine short novels make up the most dense, dramatic, and homogeneous narrative cycle of modern Italy ... But above all they are works of an extraordinary depth where one never stops finding new levels, new meanings
Cesare Pavese's cool, contemplative voice was the most important among postwar Italian writers
Insinuating, haunting and lyrically pervasive
The Moon and the Bonfires [is Pavese's] masterpiece on the aftermath of the partisan war in the hills around Turin