Simonetta Wenkert was born in London in 1965 of an Italian mother and an Austraian father. After graduating from Durham University, she translated A CERCAR LA BELLA MORTE (IN SEARCH OF A GLORIOUS DEATH) by Carlo Mazzantini which was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Award. Simonetta has lived in Athens, Rome and Jerusalem where she worked as a teacher and translator of film scripts. She currently lives in London with her husband and three children.
Married to a succesful businessman, with a large house, a four-year-old daughter and another baby on the way, Sappho lives an enviable life. Yet a chance glimpse of a face from her past sends her reeling, uncovering potent memories she has never been able to share with anyone, and threatening her perfect life completely. Suddenly unable to care for her family, she begins a desperate search for the person she once fled from, and whose reappearance has had such an effect on her. Spanning three generations from 1970s Athens to present-day London, THE HALF-KNOWN LIFE is a moving and intelligent story of the bonds that stay with us, no matter how dramatically our lives may change.
"Alive in rich and vivid detail" Esther Freud
"Tough, lyrical and original" Marika Cobbold
"Persuasive, moving, sympathetic" Allan Massie, Scotsman
"Powerfully done. She vividly conjures up the sights and smells of a foreign landscape" Daily Mail
Italy in 1979 is a country racked by violent anti-government sentiments. Demands for political change have taken a darker turn; everywhere, radical groups are plundering banks and official buildings, kidnapping businessmen and journalists, and clashing violently with police. In Rome, in the midst of this turmoil, Julia, a young Englishwoman, meets Ennio. The two fall deeply in love, but their affair is shrouded in secrecy. For Ennio is a member of the notorious terrorist group, Sinistra Armata, and one of the most wanted men in Italy. The lovers meet in La Camillina, a Sinistra Armata safe-house in the beautiful countryside outside Rome, far from the criminal undertow that threatens their fragile happiness. Twenty years on, the story is taken up by their daughter Lotte, who has been brought up by a grandmother in London, knowing nothing of her parents' love affair, or the shocking events leading up to her birth. On discovering the truth, she journeys to Italy to reclaim her past only to find herself eerily close to replaying her mother`s story.