Regular price: $31.50

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

A sweeping saga about four generations of a family who live and love on an enchanting island off the coast of Italy - combining the romance of Beautiful Ruins with the magical tapestry of works by Isabel Allende.

Castellamare is an island far enough away from the mainland to be forgotten but not far enough to escape from the world's troubles. At the center of the island's life is a café draped with bougainvillea called the House at the Edge of Night, where the community gathers to gossip and talk.

Amedeo Esposito, a foundling from Florence, finds his destiny on the island with his beautiful wife, Pina, whose fierce intelligence, grace, and unwavering love guide her every move. An indiscretion tests their marriage, and their children - three sons and an inquisitive daughter - grow up and struggle with both humanity's cruelty and its capacity for love and mercy.

Spanning nearly a century, through secrets and mysteries, trials and sacrifice, this beautiful and haunting novel follows the lives of the Esposito family and the other islanders who live and love on Castellamare: a cruel count and his bewitching wife, a priest who loves scandal, a prisoner of war turned poet, an outcast girl who becomes a pillar of strength, a wounded English soldier who emerges from the sea. The people of Castellamare are transformed by two world wars and a great recession, by the threat of fascism and their deep bonds of passion and friendship, and by bitter rivalries and the power of forgiveness.

Catherine Banner has written an enthralling, character-rich novel, epic in scope but intimate in feeling. At times the island itself seems alive, a mythical place where the earth heaves with stories - and this magical novel takes you there.

©2016 Catherine Banner (P)2016 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Catherine Banner's latest is a masterful piece of storytelling, infused with the miraculous (both in stories and in everyday life) while maintaining the difficult balance between the explainable versus the inexplicable. Through the life of a single man - a man not noteworthy in the eyes of the world - and his family, Banner touches on such broad themes as community and the way global events play out in individual lives and larger society. And just as the broader themes affect the more personal ones, Banner's style echoes the book's content: The House at the Edge of Night is captivating and beautifully rendered." (Sara Gruen, author of At the Water's Edge)
"My admiration for The House at the Edge of Night is boundless. Catherine Banner's writing is preternaturally mature, distinct, clear, and strikingly beautiful. As I read on, I felt the resonance of classic legend and myth, the stuff of Homer, building around this world that is timeless yet utterly its own.... A gorgeous, deeply moving novel of life across a sweep of time and generations." (Peter Nichols, author of The Rocks)
"To the long, eclectic tradition of the island novel, The House at the Edge of Night is a sparkling addition. Catherine Banner has created a vast world unto itself of the fictional island of Castellamare, intricately compressed and marvelously textured - a feat reserved for the most ingenious and intuitive of writers. That this is Catherine Banner's first adult novel makes it all the more remarkable." (Nicholas Christopher, author of A Trip to the Stars)

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    86
  • 4 Stars
    53
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    107
  • 4 Stars
    34
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    72
  • 4 Stars
    51
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Daryl
  • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 08-18-16

A moving hideaway

Castellamare is a fictional, relatively isolated island - far enough from the mainland to be insular (for good or for ill) but close enough to be accessed by boat. The more things change around them, the more the islanders stay the same, with gossip lasting for decades. The island both grips and spits out its residents, particularly those of the family featured in this lushly written book.
I wanted to visit the House at the Edge of Night, to meet the Espositos, to have a good strong Italian coffee, to spend some time by the sea.
Another reviewer pointed out that you really got to know the first two generations of Espositos really well, less so with the latter two generations. It's probably the only drawback to this book, because Lena in particular was not at all drawn out nearly as well as her grandmother and her great-grandfather were.
It's well-written, well-read, and a perfect summer getaway read.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Slow, meandering history.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I think that people who are extremely interested in Italian history would appreciate it. The book is barely a novel. It is, as the blurb says, the story of the people who live on a tiny island off the coast of Italy. The characters in the book have rather ordinary lives, with the exception of the primary family, who lose two of their sons in WWII. Their daughter, who gets way too much attention from the author (unless this is an autobiography) falls in love with Robert, an American who loves her and then goes back to the US for five years. She pines away. You would be forgiven for thinking that this is an Italian soap opera.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Nothing like this. I love Edoardo Ballerini, but he is beginning to amass a collection of audiobooks which focus in very large detail on the history of Italy, which may be of interest to a small audience of readers, but, frankly, I am not among them.

Would you be willing to try another one of Edoardo Ballerini’s performances?

Certainly. I love listening to him. His voice is beautiful, the mellifluous tones of Italian and several other languages just melting in his mouth, so to speak. He is extremely versatile, and has read a number of American novels that are well plotted, with characters who interest you. The Owen Laukkenan books are delightful to read, both the plots and the characters are the work of a truly gifted author, and Mr. Ballerini does them justice. Carla, an FBI agent, and Stevens, a Minnesota police officer, make a great team. Come to think of it,I am really eagerly anticipating the next book by these two men.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Not much, which is, I believe, the point.

Any additional comments?

Nope.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Magical Isle

This is a lovely story, perhaps a little too slow in parts, but overall quite an immersive listen. The wonderful prose and excellent narration ( Eduardo Bellerini is one of the best ) took me to the island of Castelemarre.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This book renewed my interest in reading.

After finishing this book, it reminded me of exactly what I have wanted out of a book for so long. A sense of belonging, community, and an environment that is seemingly realistic but also wildly surreal. That's what I found in the book, "The House at the Edge of Night." What I found most refreshing about this book is how it told the story of the people of Castellamare, at times ambiguous but mostly candid and realistic. Whilst describing, in perfect detail, the tales of war, growing pains, and history through the lens of this tiny Italian island for the past century. You become personally invested and immersed in the characters' lives and their struggles. The book was profound, touching, and truly human in its approach and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a poignant novel about the faith that the human experience can affect on a reader.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

3.75 Stars

Enjoyed most of the story- felt long with the 2nd set of brat brothers 2/3 in. Why do great characters have awful, insipid sons- twice? But would LOVE to visit The House on the Edge of Night and drink limoncello with the Esposito family and the islanders!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A sandy tapestry.<br /><br />

I loved living on this island among these characters. Three generations dedicated to a way of life and a culture all revolving around a local bar/cafe. Really good entertainment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Perfection

I am very stingy with my 5 star reviews, but this one was easy. I simply loved this book. The characters, the island, the house... I’m sorry it’s over. Also, this is the second audible book I’ve listened to by narrator Edoardo Ballerini-he is an amazing voice for this story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Magical

This is a beautiful book, made even better by the marvelous Edoardo Ballerini. The characters, the setting, and the historical context were beautifully rendered, and the story was everything a good narrative should be. One of my all time favorites,

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely charming

This is a lovely story about a place and time one is grateful to connect to. Would that we could all live with our neighbors the way the island-folk of this story do... taking care of each other's across the years!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Drift away onto a small Italian island

The book is full of unique characters and stories, and it is so vivid that you can almost feel the heat of the sun and smell the spray of the ocean.