When the Mountains Dance

Christine Toomey

'In the wake of the strongest earthquake in Italy for nearly forty years and the many aftershocks that followed, Italians began speaking of the earth beneath our feet as la terra ballerina, the dancing earth. The dance they spoke of was unrelenting.'

Foreign correspondent Christine Toomey spent years renovating her glorious, long-abandoned hill-top home in Le Marche, Italy, as a haven of rest from covering crises around the world. But in 2016, the peace and beauty of this beloved landscape were thrown into chaos when a series of powerful earthquakes struck the heart of the Apennines.

Wracked with grief for a place still reverberating with seismic aftershocks, Christine decided that one way of preserving the community was to tell its history.

Fuelled by the artefacts uncovered in her attic - including oil paintings and lithographs, a map, thick with dust but showing details of the earthquake that obliterated Messina in 1908, and century-old letters belonging to the enigmatic priest who had occupied her house a century earlier - Christine set out on a journey to tell the story of the earthquakes that devastated the region.

The result is a heartfelt, insightful and life-affirming story about the places that make us, and the life-changing thunderbolts that can come at all of us, at any time, from any quarter.

  • Classification : TRAVEL & ADVENTURE
  • Pub Date : MAR 28, 2024
  • Imprint : Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • Page Extent : 272
  • Binding : PB
  • ISBN : 9781474614658
  • Price : INR 699

Christine Toomey

Christine Toomey is an award-winning journalist and author who covered foreign affairs for the Sunday Times for more than twenty years. She has reported from over sixty countries worldwide and has been based as a correspondent in Mexico City, Paris and Berlin. Her journalism has been syndicated globally and she has twice won Amnesty International's Magazine Story of the Year. Christine lives in London with her daughter, escaping when possible to the long abandoned hill-top home she spent years renovating in Le Marche, Italy.

Advanced Search