My Shadow Is Yours – An Odd Couple Hit the Road to Find Love

Vittorio Vezzosi is a one hit wonder. In 1995, the Italian author’s debut novel, The Wolves Inside, was lauded by reviewers and the public. Men and women were brought to tears reading Vezzosi’s words. Ever since, the world has been eagerly anticipating his next novel. To the publisher’s dismay, Vezzosi continues his 25 years of silence, locked away in his palazzo outside Florence with only his Black bodyguard, Mamadou, for company. But with the small publishing company facing a takeover, the stakes have never been higher for Vezzosi to produce. 

Emiliano De Vito, an unemployed classics graduate, is tapped to help jolt Vezzosi out of his torpor. He’s warned that the last young man sent to help Vezzosi was hit with salt blasts from a shotgun. Emiliano is ready to turn down the job, but is swayed by two of Vezzosi’s biggest fans – his mother and his former girlfriend, Allegra. Still hungering for his mother’s approval, Emiliano also hopes to win back Allegra. 

Vezzosi is hardly the handsome young man depicted on his book jackets. “The thirty-year-old with the ravenous eyes in the pictures taken in 1995 had turned into a fat guy with a huge chest that spread out in all directions until it blended into his belly, as though over the years his young man’s abdominals had grown into a bulletproof vest made of flesh.” While Emiliano refuses to actually spy on Vezzosi (the last helper was dismissed after he was found going through Vezzosi’s desk and computer), there’s no evidence that the author is actually writing anything. Instead, there’s a lot of drinking and drugging going on. When Emiliano overindulges, he unloads on Vezzosi, calling him Mr. Magoo and no longer a writer. 

Mamadou is sure Vezzosi will fire the young man. Instead, he signs a copy of The Wolves Inside for Emiliano’s mother, something he hasn’t done in 25 years. Whatever Emiliano said, lights a fire under Vezzosi and he agrees to go to Milan to deliver a speech. That news explodes on the internet and thousands are expected to travel to Milan to hear the famous author speak. Among them is Allegra, who texts Emiliano asking for tickets. 

The odd couple set out for Milan in Vezzosi’s jeep – The Golden Eagle – minus its top, doors, and windscreen. Along the way, the two talk about women, writing, and do a lot of coke. Emiliano learns that Vezzosi has his own Allegra, a women he loved and lost. The trip to Milan is not about his book or giving a speech to his adoring fans. It’s about winning Milena back.

Edoardo Neri’s My Shadow is Yours is a story of loves found, loves lost, and loves found again. It’s a coming of age story for Emiliano, and a never too late story for Vezzosi. Their relationship grows deeper mile by mile (as well as coke line by coke line), until each man works up the courage to make a leap into the future. Readers are fortunate to be along for this wonderful ride.

My Shadow is Yours
Edoardo Nesi

Translated from the Italian by Gregory Conti

Top photo: Bigstock

About Charlene Giannetti (696 Articles)
Charlene Giannetti, editor of Woman Around Town, is the recipient of seven awards from the New York Press Club for articles that have appeared on the website. A graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Charlene began her career working for a newspaper in Pennsylvania, then wrote for several publications in Washington covering environment and energy policy. In New York, she was an editor at Business Week magazine and her articles have appeared in many newspapers and magazines. She is the author of 13 non-fiction books, eight for parents of young adolescents written with Margaret Sagarese, including "The Roller-Coaster Years," "Cliques," and "Boy Crazy." She and Margaret have been keynote speakers at many events and have appeared on the Today Show, CBS Morning, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and many others. Her last book, "The Plantations of Virginia," written with Jai Williams, was published by Globe Pequot Press in February, 2017. Her podcast, WAT-CAST, interviewing men and women making news, is available on Soundcloud and on iTunes. She is one of the producers for the film "Life After You," focusing on the opioid/heroin crisis that had its premiere at WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, where it won two awards. The film is now available to view on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and other services. Charlene and her husband live in Manhattan.