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Plot - The Choice of the Heart


a couple puts on coats and walks away along a light gravel path. Beside a meadow of dry grass. It is a winter image. In the background is fog.

Romance | Italy


Main characters

The protagonist of the novel is Marco, a 40-year-old factory worker who is married with two children. Marco lives an ordinary and seemingly happy life, but deep down he feels the need to give a deeper meaning to his existence. Several times he externalizes his desire to change his life and undertake something that will make him useful to others.


His wife, Laura, is a loving and understanding woman, but she struggles to dissuade her husband from his desire. Their children, Luke and Clare, are teenagers trying to understand their father, convinced that nothing will change their family's life.


The call to adventure

The family's normalcy is disrupted when Marco decides to follow his calling and join a humanitarian organization to help people in need in an African country. The man was inspired by a documentary about the poverty and hardships that plague a small African community.


Despite his family's concerns and objections, he decides to give up his job and life in Italy to join a humanitarian mission, aware that he is leaving his wife and children in great financial hardship.


Marco's inner conflict concerns his desire to follow his vocation versus his responsibility as a husband and father. He is tormented by doubts and uncertainties about his decision.


The conflict

Over the course of the novel, Mark will have to adjust to his new life in Africa, the difficulties of humanitarian work and the daily problems of the community he is trying to help. But the greatest torment is maintaining the bond with his family, trying to manage guilt and concern for their well-being.


The climax occurs when, six months later, Mark is tested by the harsh realities of his job and the threat of separation from his wife, forcing him to make a crucial decision about his future and what is really important to him.


The Key

In the plot finale, Marco, after experiencing deep disappointments and difficulties, realizes that the true value of his vocation is in finding a balance between his desire to help others and his role as a husband and father.


He decides to return to Italy and resume his work in the factory. However, he will manage to stay active through participation in local humanitarian projects so that he can combine his commitment to others with his love for his loved ones. Not only that, he will also manage to involve his children by showing them an aspect of life they ignore.


The characters have changed since the beginning: Mark has learned that his vocation does not have to conflict with his family, Laura has understood her husband's need to make sense of his life, and the children have become more aware of the world and the difficulties it presents.


The story ends with the family united and strengthened by their experiences, ready to face new challenges together.

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