This novel has been an immense success in Italy, where it has won six literary prizes.The Accabadora here is Bonaria Urrai, a seamstress unable to have children. Bonaria adopts the six-year-old Maria Listru, whose widowed mother Anna Teresa can no longer afford to raise her. Maria thus becomes a fill’e anima, a soul-child, the fruit of Anna Teresa’s womb and Bonaria’s loving spirit. Accabadora is set, for the most part, in rural Sardinia in the 1950s. In such a closed community, gossip and suspicion are rife. Intelligence is regarded as a hindrance rather than a blessing, as Maria learns when she does well at school but is expected to leave when she reaches 13. Well translated from the Italian.