Fontamara was a literary phenomenon when first published in 1933. To many readers, it quickly became the great anti-fascist novel, translated into 27 other languages and selling over 1.5 million copies around the world.
The Fontamara (bitter spring) of the title is a fictional village in the Abruzzo region of central Italy. The bulk of the population work the earth to survive, emigrate if that proves impossible, and are largely ignorant of events in the outside world. Mussolini might as well be governing from Mars as far as they’re concerned.