To Each His Own

Title: To Each His Own

Author: Leonardo Sciascia
Publication Date: 1966
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Page Length: 144 pages


To Each His Own by Leonardo Sciascia is a compelling and thought-provoking literary work that delves into the deepest realms of human nature and social justice. Written in 1966, this fictional mystery novel follows the character of Dr. Roscio, a middle-aged physician, as he is confronted with a perplexing murder case that challenges his own beliefs and principles.

Set in a small Sicilian town, the story begins with the murder of Don Lollo, a prominent local Mafia boss. As news of the crime spreads, various characters emerge, each with their own motives and secrets. The narrative is divided into four distinct parts, each unveiling new layers of the intricate plot.

Part I serves as an introduction to the town and its inhabitants. Sciascia intricately paints the atmosphere of secrecy and power struggles in a place deeply influenced by organized crime. The author introduces us to Dr. Roscio, a seemingly apolitical man who is thrust into the role of investigator when he is chosen to examine Don Lollo’s body. As he begins his investigation, Dr. Roscio faces continuous obstacles, including threats from both the Mafia and the police, hindering his pursuit of the truth.

In Part II, the reader is introduced to Liyan, a teacher who appears unassuming yet is deeply connected to the crime. The author examines the psychological motivations and internal conflicts faced by Liyan as he struggles with the moral implications of the murder and debates whether to act out of loyalty or justice. Sciascia emphasizes the impact of social pressure and instills in the reader a sense of empathy towards Liyan’s predicament.

Part III centers around the character of Roscio’s wife, Caterina, who becomes an integral part of the narrative. Caterina’s perspective sheds light on the intricate dynamics of power within the town and reveals the harsh reality she faces as a woman living in such a deeply patriarchal society. Through her interactions and observations, Sciascia highlights the themes of corruption and manipulation that permeate the lives of the townspeople.

The final part of the book, Part IV, brings the story to a decisive climax. Dr. Roscio, driven by his unwavering pursuit of truth and justice, confronts the central figures involved in the murder. This section delves deeper into the intricacies of the mafia system and the fear instilled in those who dare to question it. Sciascia masterfully concludes the novel, leaving the reader with a sense of both satisfaction and unease as the consequences of the characters’ actions manifest.

Throughout To Each His Own, Sciascia thoughtfully explores various themes, such as the corrupting influence of power, the tension between personal and societal loyalty, and the struggle for justice within a flawed system. By navigating these concepts through the lens of a murder investigation, the author challenges readers to question their own principles and ideologies.

This novel continues to resonate with readers due to its timeless examination of the human condition and its unrelenting cynicism towards corrupt societal institutions. Sciascia’s concise and evocative prose draws readers into a world where even the most ordinary actions can have profound consequences.

In conclusion, To Each His Own, published in 1966 and written by Leonardo Sciascia, is a gripping mystery novel that exposes the intricate web of power, corruption, and justice within a small Sicilian town. From its compelling characters to its exploration of complex social issues, this literary work invites readers to reflect upon the ethical dilemmas faced by individuals trapped within a morally ambiguous society. Sciascia’s masterpiece stands the test of time as a cautionary tale and offers valuable insights into the human experience.