Don’t Move – Margaret Mazzantini

Don’t Move is one of Margaret Mazzantini’s most famous books. I read it because it is on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list, and I was very curious about it because of the comments I read about it. Don’t Move is a book that I think deserves all the accolades, awards and much more. You have a great writer before you.


Don't Move - Margaret Mazzantini

Don’t Move is a fascinating love story, as well as a character analysis. It also beautifully shows the helplessness of people in the face of death. This love story is far from the love stories you know; it is striking from beginning to end. Our narrator is surgeon Timoteo, one of the protagonists of this forbidden love.

One day, when his own daughter is on the verge of death, Timoteo goes to the hospital where he works, and he tells his daughter about this relationship he had while he was married to her mother. He has to tell her in order to bring her back to life. And he has to tell this story for himself and the for the lover he had. Read Don’t Move; I’m sure you’ll love it and think about it a lot, but my advice would be to save it for colder weather. Enjoy! And if you want to read a shorter novel by the author I’d recommend Morning Sea.

Don't Move - Margaret Mazzantini

Don’t Move

Don’t Move: Called to the hospital when his fifteen-year-old daughter, Angela, is injured in a potentially fatal accident, a prominent surgeon sits and waits, silently confessing the affair he had the year Angela was born. As Timoteo’s tale begins, he’s driving to the beach house where his beautiful, accomplished wife, Elsa, is waiting. Car trouble forces him to make a detour into a dingy suburb, where he meets Italia–unattractive, unpolished, working-class–who awakens a part of him he scarcely recognizes.

Disenchanted with his stable life, he seizes the chance to act without consequences, and their savage first encounter spirals into an inexplicable obsession. Returning again and again to Italia’s dim hovel, he finds himself faced with a choice: a life of passion with Italia, or a life of comfort and predictability with Elsa. As Angela’s life hangs in the balance, Timoteo’s own life flashes before his eyes, this time seen through the lens of the one time he truly lived.

Margaret Mazzantini

Margaret Mazzantini (Italian pronunciation: [ˈmarɡaret mattsanˈtiːni]; born 27 October 1961) is an Italian-Irish writer and actress. She became a film, television and stage actor, but is best known as a writer. Mazzantini began her acting career in 1980 starring in the cult horror classic Antropophagus, she has also appeared in television and theatre. As a successful writer, her novels include Non ti muovere (Don’t Move) which was adapted into a film of the same name and is directed by her husband Sergio Castellitto and stars Penélope Cruz. Her career as a writer and actress has earned her several awards and nominations including Campiello Awards, a Golden Ticket Award, and a Goya Award.

Mazzantini was born in Dublin, Ireland to Carlo Mazzantini, an Italian writer and artist, and Anne Donnelly, an Irish artist. She has three sisters (one of whom is Giselda Volodi). She spent her childhood around Europe, Spain, and Tangier, until the family settled in Tivoli. In 1982 she graduated from the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Rome.

She married Sergio Castellitto in 1987. They have four children, Pietro (b. 1992), Maria (b. 1997), Anna (b. 2001) and Cesare (b. 2006). She lives in Rome. In 2003, she was awarded the title of Knight Order of Merit of the Italian Republic on the initiative of the President of the Republic.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Read Around the World, A Great Journey

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