Multi-genre, multi-volume author and poet, Anna Casamento Arrigo introduces us to her memoir, Weeds Beneath the Open Meadows:
“The only mode my thoughts run in, though, is rewind. Never fast-forward and certainly never stopped. Thus the truth is my thoughts and, the facts are my experience, subjective, and still mine.”
Following the plight of a young Italian girl, Weeds Beneath the Open Meadows, is more than just a memoir; this book explores the relationship between the individual and truth, the effect of the past upon the present, and conflicting representations about love.
When Anna and her family leave their homeland due to her father’s nebulous business in the United States, she leaves behind crowns weaved from flowers, handmade dresses, and the ubiquitous poverty of the Italian countryside. Once across the Atlantic, Anna realizes that life in America is about possessions; possessing things as well as memories.
Blurring the line between an older past in the meadows and villages of Sicily, and a newer past in the concrete streets of New Jersey, Weeds Beneath the Open Meadows explores how a young girl learns the ways of America without letting go of Italy.
Blending the imagery of poetry with masterful prose, Weeds Beneath the Open Meadows explores the difficulties of assimilation, the loss of loved ones, and the discovery of the self.
This is a pleasant, mesmerizing memoir. Anna’s poetic vein runs deep through her story. Then something violent or unspeakable happens to her or a loved one and you are shocked awake. Actually, you could miss some of those incidents if you are not reading carefully enough, Anna doesn’t glorify them in the least.
Growing up bi-lingual because of the public-school education, she is forced to interpret for her mother at the most difficult times of life a person can expect to experience.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s colorful and provides many glimpses of life in a small Italian town, through the eyes of a young girl, as well as learning to cope in America.
I award this book 4.4 stars! The score would have been higher, except for the large handful of spelling errors I found.
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Tags: memoir, two-hour read, Italy, immigrant, immigration
Copyright © 2019 Mark Schultz except for author’s introduction to the book
Who am I?
An avid reader, typobuster, and the Hyper-Speller. I am a husband, father, and grandfather.
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