SonetÓula is 12 at the beginning of this story set in Sardinia between 1937 and 1950, and 25 when it ends tragically.
His father has been wrongly imprisoned, and he works as a shepherd boy, growing up in the woods with splendid figures like his grandfather and "tiu Giobatta" to guide him, in a landscape that seems to possess a life of its own.
When he’s 18, SonetÓula reacts to an insult by cutting the hooves of the herd belonging to the offender, his friend and rival Bulluzzadu. He does not report to the police station when summonsed, goes on the run, and becomes a bandit, committing highway robberies and killings, and living like a hunted animal, plagued by fear and loneliness.
SonetÓula’s destiny is intertwined with that of Maddalena, who grew up at home and has always been loved, and that of another youth, Giuseppino, who has broken with tradition and chosen a different life. Unlike SonetÓula, Giuseppino manages to escape a common destiny and “saves” himself by accepting the inevitability of progress in Sardinia where above the sounds of flocks and machine guns, thanks to the Americans (ERLAS), the anti-malaria disinfestations begins and in farms and villages the miracle of electricity arrives.
Adapted from Giuseppe Fiori's book by the same name.