Renzo and Lucy are betrothed; but Don Roderick, a local baron, threatens the vicar to prevent their matrimony. Father Christopher, the saintly Capuchin friar at a nearby convent, intervenes to assist them; but before long, the couple is engulfed in events that are far above their heads. Famine; food riots; flight; duplicity; kidnapping; repentence; redemption; plague; and, above all, Providence. All are major players in this drama of northern Italy in the midst of the troubles and chaos of the Thirty Years' War. More than a drama of events, however, this is a drama of characters; we meet saints and sinners, repentant and unrepentant. No cardboard cutouts, these characters are complex and realistic, with motivations and outcomes to match. This is a masterpiece of the medium, well worth a close and detailed read. 283 pp., English. Purchase in Print | PDF (free) | HTML (free).