The eight mountains, Paolo Cognetti

According to a Nepalese legend there is a high mountain, Sumeru. Surrounding it are eight seas and eight mountains. Some people travel to all eight mountains, others only reach the top of Sumeru.

Pietro's parents live in the city, but they really love the mountains. So each Summer they rent a cabin in the mountains. Here his mother finds a simpler life and his father, who is not a happy man, can walk around in his beloved mountains, the only place he feels well.

Pietro becomes friends with Bruno, a boy from the village and although their lives will differ when they grow up, their friendship is still there.
For Pietro's father Bruno is the son he never had, because Pietro and he are so different they end up not talking to eachother for years.

When his father dies, alone in his car on the highway, Pietro must find a way to deal with this, and the friendship he has with Bruno helps him.

For Bruno life in the mountains is the beginning and the end, for Pietro it is something to come home to every now and then. But of course, the mountains also shaped his life.

The eight mountains is a beautiful story about family, friendship and dealing with loss. You get a sense of the mountains and how these will always be there, when we people will have gone. Our problems seem very small compared to those huge blocks of rock.

I read this book in Oktober of last year in Dutch translation, and there is now also an English translation. Paolo Cognetti makes documentaries, and this was his first novel. I hope it will not be his last.

Italian title: Le otte montagne (2016)


  1. I'm glad there's now an English translation of this one! It sounds like a beautiful read.

    1. It is a very beautiful story and very well written!

      Kind regards,


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