In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle

Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2017
Locus 
2017 Recommended Reading List

Claudio Bianchi sees a unicorn on his farm.  He can’t keep it a secret for very long.  Then there are two of them.  Then comes trouble.  This is basically a story about a middle-aged man who meets a much younger woman, which is a typical plot. However, this story is far from the average romance.

Claudio lives on a small hillside farm in Southern Italy.  His companions include cows, pigs, a goat, and three cats.  Later, Giovanna shows up while delivering the mail.  She sees the unicorn and everything in Claudio’s solitary life begins to change.  Claudio is also a very amateur but quite dedicated poet.  His writing, like every other aspect of his life, takes on new meaning.  Is it the unicorn or is it Giovanna?  Maybe it is both of them that change him.  This story shows that it may take a few miracles, but good can prevail.

The one thing I don’t like about this book is that the author writes in gruesome detail about the murder of one of Claudio’s cats.  Otherwise, this is a nice, sweet, quaint romantic story about a poor, Italian farmer and the sister of the village postal carrier.  A romance, that is, which is interrupted by violence, monsters, gangsters, and thugs.

– Review by Elaine, Main Library