When young Vittorio Innocente’s mother, Cristina, is bitten by a snake during an encounter with a blue-eyed stranger in the family barn, the superstitions and prejudices rampant in their small Italian town immediately roil to the surface. But the worst is yet to come for the independent-minded Cristina. Eight months pregnant and unable to abide her treatment in the village any longer, Cristina books a passage to Canada for herself and Vittorio, although it will not be to join her irascible husband Mario, who sailed there when Vittorio was an infant. A national bestseller for seventy-five weeks, Lives of the Saints won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the Bressani Prize. It is the first novel in the Vittorio Innocente Trilogy, which includes In a Glass House and Where She Has Gone. Nino Ricci web site.