A middle-aged, married sculptor is reflecting on the many love affairs and intrigues he has had in his life, in particular the current one with the beautiful and mysterious Y. If you like European art house films, you will enjoy the slow, meditative pace of this novel which weaves back and forth between the past and the present.
But you Xo, you're the one, some twenty years ago, who became the great touchstone, the terrible illustration of my singular behaviour with women that 'exist' and women, on the other hand, who are merely 'present'. I don't know why, but I've never been able to imagine going through the rest of my life with the first kind.
And here you have, Xo, after all these years, the reason, or one of the reasons, why I so cowardly beat the retreat when we arrived back in Rome, after those wonderful three weeks in Amalfi.