The Incomplete Husband | Granta

  • Published: 01/03/2008
  • ISBN: 9781846270826
  • 128x20mm
  • 352 pages

The Incomplete Husband

Ben Faccini

When Elena falls in love with Riccardo, she also falls in love with the idea of a world beyond her sheltered life in rural Italy. And when she loses him, she gives up her hopes for the future and her expectations of happiness, filling the sudden void in her life with her son and brother-in-law. It is only when the young Marco rejects the role his mother has created for him and flees to Paris, with its migrant populations, political protests and romantic possibilities, that all three come to realize how tightly they have been bound within a triangle of conspiracy and how much they must risk to break free from the secrets of the past.

With rare sympathy and tenderness, Ben Faccini sets his characters on a quest for their place in the world. You'll want to carry their suitcases

William Fiennes, author of THE SNOW GEESE

A striking work, every page, every sentence, bearing the flush and ardour of true life. One reads ever more quickly, with ever more fervour, taking in its deep observations - one of the two best novels I've read in years!

Paula Fox, author of BORROWED FINERY

The story moves towards a powerful climax, where everything seems to make sense. Giacomo's patient, quiet adoration of Elena; Elena's disturbed tie to her late husband and needy, clingy love for her son; Marco's exciting, challenging relationship with his girlfriend - these are the stories of what it means to love and be loved. All the characters bar Marco are immigrants. Deportation and violent protest form part of the backdrop to the story, but they stay in the background. Faccini doesn't feel the need directly to address issues of immigration such as inclusion or racism. He is more interested in exploring psychological aspects of one of France's major contemporary issues. Faccini moves across this emotional territory with fluent ease, weaving a common theme through each character. All must discover their place, what it takes to belong and the many trials of love. Faccini's elegantly crafted prose is often poetic and carries complex emotions.


The Author

Ben Faccini was born in England and brought up in rural France and Italy. He worked for many years at the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Paris. He is the author of two books, The Water-Breather (Flamingo 2002) and The Incomplete Husband (Portobello 2007). As well as novels, he has written extensively on issues in the developing world, particularly on the subject of street and working children and innovations in education.

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