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Given Away: A Sicilian Upbringing de…
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Given Away: A Sicilian Upbringing (edição: 2013)

de Marianna Randazzo

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522,469,817 (3.5)Nenhum(a)
In Sicily, 1935 a four-year child walks away from her loving family, her mother, her sister and an infant brother, with a great-aunt for a vacation. She spends the next eight years of her life absent from their lives. It was not an abduction nor was it an adoption. Tina lives in a one-room house in one of the poorest regions of Sicily. She sleeps between a loving aunt and a deranged uncle. She shares her breakfast with goats and chickens while living in the shadow of fascism. The child grows up while WW II ravages the town. Her school is taken over by German soldiers and the things like bread and eggs that were once plentiful, no longer exist. Less than 25 kilometers away her family leads a very different life. After eight years, she returns home to find her childhood interrupted again. This time sickness, warfare and destruction are her enemies. In wartime Europe, childhood does not exist. The child witnesses and experiences many disturbing things from her uncouth, unsanitary living conditions to the failed paratroopers dangling from trees during the allied invasion. Tina is a survivor. She is able to forgive those who took so much away from her. Her spirit trumps over adversity during the war times within and around her. As she grows older, she struggles to keep the harsh realities of World War II and abandonment at a distance through her sense of humor, imagination and determination. By the age of 15, her fate is sealed, again, without her permission. To gain passage to America she must accept the role as a war bride. A tyrannical, overbearing, bootlegging aunt in America arranges the match. Tina must live under her roof and her rules until her citizenship is secure. Tina has earned the right to complain, yet at no point does she play the victim. At times, her nonjudgmental stance is disquieting. Despite circumstances that could be categorized as abusive and undeniably negligent. Tina respects her parent's decisions and sacrifices herself for the greater good-even when it is not apparent to her. Despite a raging war, Tina thinks about her family and her friends more than about the horrors of the battle fought across the continents, even when she is a victim of the German soldiers' mockery and the American soldier's unusual ways. She is remarkably clever and insightful. The plot and setting are true to life in the period of the past. It will bring the history of war torn Europe to life, providing us a lens upon our collective past that define our unique lives. Tina triumphs against all odds with an unconditional love for a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fortitude to carve out a successful life on her own terms. Given Away, A Sicilian Upbringing, demonstrates that even in the midst of the most horrendous conditions of war, without trivializing the historical tragedy, perseverance prevails as Tina declares what is rightfully hers.… (mais)
Membro:sscarllet
Título:Given Away: A Sicilian Upbringing
Autores:Marianna Randazzo
Informação:Marianna Randazzo (2013), Edition: 1, Paperback, 290 pages
Coleções:Amazon Wish List
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Given Away: A Sicilian Upbringing de Marianna Randazzo

Adicionado recentemente porTheAcorn, KimSalyers, NoLabelsUnleashed, sscarllet
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Exibindo 2 de 2
This is a debut novel from this Author, and one that I had particular interest in reading, as my Husband’s family are from this part of the world.

As I started into the book,, I was expecting a novel of great proportions, given the subject matter, but in this area I felt the book did not deliver. Instead of being the story I expected, it read more like a social history/personal account of the period covered, and how conditions were living under Mussolini. This in itself, led to a very interesting book, as there are not many out there that let us glimpse life in WWII from an Italian perspective.

Because of it’s not being a novel, in the true sense of the word, I felt that the lack of any character development did not deter from the book at all. In fact, it made it easier to read from an objective point of view and, as a historical scholar, I found it would have been a great resource when doing my thesis on WWII.

The dialogue can be a little jumbled at times, with the Author writing both Italian and English in the same sentence, with no punctuation to separate the two. This brings me onto my next observation; the over use of full stops (periods). They are used so abundantly throughout this book that, at times, I felt the Author was barking random phrases at me, rather than telling me about the poverty and conditions these people lived through. I feel that with the use of commas and semi-colons the novel would have flowed much more smoothly and added coherence to some, otherwise, jumbled areas.

The description of Sicily itself is fantastic and, having been there many times, the Author fully captured the vivid scenery to be found on the tiny island. This played a huge part of making this read a lot more enjoyable than it otherwise might have been.

I understand this is the Authors first novel, and I feel with a little more attention to punctuation and character development, her next one if she writes in this genre again, would be a great improvement.

Regardless of my feelings on this novel, I would recommend it to YA and adults alike that are interested in this period of history from the common man point of view.

Originally reviewed on: http://catesbooknuthut.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/review-given-away-a-sicilian-upb...



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. ( )
  TheAcorn | Nov 8, 2019 |
This novel took me on a roller coaster of emotions.

Conflicted: I confess to feeling conflicted about Tina’s mother, Sarina. Although towards the end of the book, she strives to be a better mother for her youngest two children, it doesn’t quite forgive the way she was at the beginning with her other children. Sarina does have moments when she feels some levels of guilt for giving Tina away, but it’s not powerful enough for her to insist on getting her back from Vittoria. It’s only when she’s needed for assistance with other family members that the deal with Vittoria was broken, and Francesco (the father) decides to get Tina. I don’t really think it was because they missed her and that’s the thing that bothers me: the fact that children can be bartered like property as if they aren’t human.

Empathy and Sympathy: I feel these things for Tina and her situation, particularly the dynamic between her and Lena. Lena felt like that Tina had an advantage, since she got to leave and go to the country. However, Tina got the bad end of the stick. Because of Lena’s interpretation of Tina’s “vacation” it caused a dissention between them, and they never got back to the closeness they once shared before the separation. When Tina would see her family for the holidays, they did “things” for her but I never heard any expressions of “love” expressed towards Tina. There was mainly focus on how useful Tina could be to someone else as far as her abilities. Lena ended up being used in the same way—she served as a second mom (in some cases, the primary mom) to her siblings.

The conflict(s) are prevalent throughout the novel (abandonment, sickness, warfare) and the setting and mood definitely made me feel as if I was part of the action.

I would have loved to have seen more character development—a deeper glimpse into what the characters looked like (outer appearance) as well more detail into the inner torment of some of the characters.

One example is Lena. Did her feelings really start changing towards Tina once she got older or did she hold on to the resentment she originally expressed at the beginning of the novel? Did she really take pride in acting as a second mother to her siblings?

Overall, this is a great story for those who cheer for the endurance of spirit and courage.

My more detailed review is on The Review Board: http://wp.me/p30Uww-4s
( )
  NoLabelsUnleashed | May 22, 2015 |
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In Sicily, 1935 a four-year child walks away from her loving family, her mother, her sister and an infant brother, with a great-aunt for a vacation. She spends the next eight years of her life absent from their lives. It was not an abduction nor was it an adoption. Tina lives in a one-room house in one of the poorest regions of Sicily. She sleeps between a loving aunt and a deranged uncle. She shares her breakfast with goats and chickens while living in the shadow of fascism. The child grows up while WW II ravages the town. Her school is taken over by German soldiers and the things like bread and eggs that were once plentiful, no longer exist. Less than 25 kilometers away her family leads a very different life. After eight years, she returns home to find her childhood interrupted again. This time sickness, warfare and destruction are her enemies. In wartime Europe, childhood does not exist. The child witnesses and experiences many disturbing things from her uncouth, unsanitary living conditions to the failed paratroopers dangling from trees during the allied invasion. Tina is a survivor. She is able to forgive those who took so much away from her. Her spirit trumps over adversity during the war times within and around her. As she grows older, she struggles to keep the harsh realities of World War II and abandonment at a distance through her sense of humor, imagination and determination. By the age of 15, her fate is sealed, again, without her permission. To gain passage to America she must accept the role as a war bride. A tyrannical, overbearing, bootlegging aunt in America arranges the match. Tina must live under her roof and her rules until her citizenship is secure. Tina has earned the right to complain, yet at no point does she play the victim. At times, her nonjudgmental stance is disquieting. Despite circumstances that could be categorized as abusive and undeniably negligent. Tina respects her parent's decisions and sacrifices herself for the greater good-even when it is not apparent to her. Despite a raging war, Tina thinks about her family and her friends more than about the horrors of the battle fought across the continents, even when she is a victim of the German soldiers' mockery and the American soldier's unusual ways. She is remarkably clever and insightful. The plot and setting are true to life in the period of the past. It will bring the history of war torn Europe to life, providing us a lens upon our collective past that define our unique lives. Tina triumphs against all odds with an unconditional love for a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fortitude to carve out a successful life on her own terms. Given Away, A Sicilian Upbringing, demonstrates that even in the midst of the most horrendous conditions of war, without trivializing the historical tragedy, perseverance prevails as Tina declares what is rightfully hers.

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