Irina’s life with her husband and her twin daughters is orderly. An Italian living in Switzerland, she works as a lawyer. One day, something breaks. The marriage ends without apparent trauma, but on a weekend seemingly like any other, the girls’ father takes Alessia and Livia away with him. They disappear. A few days later the man takes his own life. Of the girls, there is no trace.
Concita De Gregorio takes the unadorned, terrible facts of this true story and embodies the protagonist’s voice. In a narrative that is fast and urgent, she unravels these traumatic events to tell the story of a mother bereft of her children – a state for which there is no word.
An urgently told psychological thriller and the fierce portrait of a woman in all her frailty and courage, The Missing Word delves deep into Irina’s thoughts and memories as she grasps at the shreds of truth and, piece by piece, stitches her life back together.
Concita De Gregorio
Concita De Gregorio is a writer, journalist and broadcaster. One of la Repubblica’s best known and long-established columnists, she has written several works of non-fiction on politics and current affairs, as well as women’s and children’s issues. She was the editor of l’Unità newspaper, and is the creator and host of several successful news and current affairs programs for Italian national radio and television. The Missing Word is her second novel.