The Mother is an intriguing and marvellously written book. Its note of worthiness lies in the psychological study of the three main characters: the mother, Maria Maddalena, of the young parish priest; Paul, the priest himself; and Agnes, the rich lonely woman who irrupts into the lives of both mother and son.
Throughout the story, Paul fights his human desires and desperately tries to cling to the convened rule of celibacy in the priesthood. He lacks the ambition to be a good priest because the choice was not his own but his mother´s. His oath was taken before he really knew his ambition in life; his role was vested on to him by others and conditioned by society.
In what is probably her greatest masterpiece, the 1926 Nobel Laureate Grazia Deledda tells us in this novel that avoiding one´s true call in life may have consequences and that the disposing of the aberrant conditions that cause people to sin is perhaps the greatest misdeed of all.