One day Luigi went to visit his nonna. She lived two suburbs further out from the city, developed in the 1910s and 1920s and then, because they were so cheap and undesirable at that time, occupied by the post-war wave of immigrants from Italy. Immensely valuable now, his grandmother was (in asset terms) very rich, but she still lived with the neat but worn furniture she'd bought fifty years before, the walls decorated with badly painted prints of Italian scenes, a small shrine to Mary on a sideboard in the sitting room, her own lace tablecloths on the tables and anti-macassars on the armchairs. His grandmother had early on guessed that Luigi was gay. It was hard not to suspect, but his mother and father had chosen to pretend that everything was all right. When the parade of girls had produced no outcome except Luigi skiving off whenever he could, his parents had confronted him, Luigi had let it slip that he was seeing someone from school, and there'd been the inevitable row. His father had hit him repeatedly in the face, and thrown him out of the house. Barely able to see out of his swelling eyes, too stubborn to weep, but giving an occasional dry sob, Luigi had turned up on his grandmother's doorstep.