To Arthur Fraser, a young Englishman, Sardinia in 1960 is perfect. It's an island filled with Roman ruins, exotic scenery, local customs, and morally traditional values-he loves everything. To assimilate into the strange and belong to a society different from his own has always been his desire.
Arthur arrives in the resort town of Alghero to work as a representative for a tourist company. His ambition is to find a Sard girl for himself. He is quickly thwarted, though, by the orthodox beliefs of the inhabitants. Unmarried couples cannot meet without chaperones, and anyone with "continental" attitudes is immoral. Arthur quickly learns that dating is fraught with real dangers.
When Arthur finally falls in love with Anna, a Sard girl, he discovers that she lives in Rome and is no longer accepted at home. But she then falls in love with one of his best friends, and Arthur becomes irrationally obsessed. He incessantly schemes about winning back her affections, despite her efforts to dissuade him.
In Sardinian Silver, author Wright masterfully evokes a mysterious society, its flamboyant people, and the Island's beauty. Like Arthur, you'll never want to leave Sardinia, with its wide sands, low hills, sun, and blue sea and its superficial pleasantness of life.
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October 26, 2008
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