Book review: Nessuno si salva da solo

By Margaret Mazzantini

At present, Margaret Mazzantini’s latest book, Nessuno si salva da solo, is not available in English but I am confident that the translation will follow soon.

Nessuno si salva da solo is the story of a great love that has run its course. Delia and Gaetano have recently separated and they meet for dinner to make arrangements for the summer holidays of their two children, Nico and Cosmo. While facing each other across the table of the restaurant, they can’t help but wonder when their passion has turned into resentment and they reminisce about good times, yes, but mostly disappointments and expectations not met.

The book opens with Delia and Gaetano sitting at the restaurant and closes with them having just parted ways. A few hours in which we get to dig deep inside them and uncover those raw feelings that the end of a relationship never fails to bring to the surface.

Mazzantini’s writing style is as raw as those feelings. Words are sharp, unkind. We glimpse some tenderness every now and then but it is soon replaced by rage. There are no chapters, just line breaks when the narrative jumps from the present scene in the restaurant to the past as recalled by Gaetano or by Delia. There is no chronological order, no straight reasoning… but what break-up is ever tidy and orderly?

Set in Rome, I read this book as part of the “Italy in Books” reading challenge.


  1. Are you Italian I wonder or just fluent, sounds interesting but I think I will wait for the translation.

  2. Hi Lindy! I am Italian! I'm sure this book will be translated. In the meantime, I highly recommend reading Non ti muovere (Don't Move) by the same author. It is one of my favourite books!

  3. I wonder how they are going to translate in English the too often use of the word cazzo. At times I wanted to throw the book out of the window as I found both Gae and Delia self centred and annoying. I managed to get to the end, and I would say it may just be worth for the meeting with the old man in the restaurant. 6 out of 10.


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