Elisa Emiliani – Ash

During a hot wet summer in the North-East of Italy three inseparable friends live the adventure of a lifetime. Always together, until the end, the sixteen-years-old girls Maddalena, known as Ash, Anna and Rebecca, called Reba, are forced to face extreme situations, definitely bigger than themselves. They are  best friends and their friendship consequently becomes both a sort of forth main character and the value praised in the book. Whenever anxiety and melancholy prevail Ash, Reba and Anna are the perfect remedy for their friend’s mood, simply standing by her; in the same way when Reba needs “working” legs, Ash and Anna do the impossible in order to get her brand new limbs. These big and little gestures show the deep connection between the girls. It is not easy being adolescents, even more if living in a world threatened by a pressing regime which does not allow any privacy and destroys all the opponents. Living is not a choice anymore, now it is about surviving an unreal existence with no future perspective. Between drug and alcohol abuse, the time is always right to drink a glass of Ash’s homemade liqueur. Days rapidly pass by when the moment of the fightback finally comes: the three girls decide to create the Game, a virtual reality through which it is possible fighting the regime, never without encounter mortal dangers and troubles. Between mysterious disappearances and deaths, although with the help of new and brave friends, Ash, Reba and Anna begin their personal crusade in the name of freedom.

Elisa Emiliani comes from Emilia-Romagna, the region of Italy where she decided to set her last work. Always been a science-fiction enthusiast, the author has developed her passion in a proper job writing several sci-fi works and books. Cenere’s blunt and direct style, together with a definitely incisive writing composed of few but qualitative words, is capable of provoking empathy in the reader. Moreover, thanks to a rapid and persistent rhythm  it seems like to be running away from the guards with Ash, Anna and Reba through Emilia-Romagna’s woods. It is a story to read without drawing breathing: an original plot which, despite being sci-fi, instils realistic feelings and emotions. Through her novel the writer can put the story of a strong friendship and the search for freedom down in black and white, showing the reader how far one person can go to battle for its loved ones and its ideals. A cruel fight, no holds barred, for a better future and a more human society.