A young man travels to Paris in 1968, where a series of unlikely events take him to a tiny village in Italy—and the one great love of his life. A marble merchant meets a couple on their honeymoon, introducing them to the sensual beauty of Carrara. An Italian woman arrives in Canada to find the father she never knew. A terrible accident in a marble quarry changes the course of a young boy’s life and, ultimately, sets in motion each of these stories, which Macfarlane masterfully shapes into a magnificent whole.
Oliver Hughson falls in love with wild, bohemian Anna over the course of one glorious summer in Italy. Bound by a sense of responsibility to his adoptive parents back home in Canada, however, he leaves her, an act he will regret for the rest of his life. Narrated by the daughter he never knew he had, The Figures of Beauty is a love story of mythic proportions. Through luck, fate and great good fortune, Oliver found the one place and the one woman he should never have left. This is the story of him trying to find his way back.
David Macfarlane’s memoir, The Danger Tree, was originally published in the United States under the title Come from Away. Christopher Hitchens described it as “intense and beautiful.” Simon Winchester called it “a true masterpiece.” His novel Summer Gone was a finalist for Canada’s most prestigious literary award, the Giller Prize. The Figures of Beauty is his third book. He lives in Toronto.