This novel could be my family's story...immigrants from Italy, arriving to succeed in a country with only their skills and love of family. The novel's main character, Nella, a young farm girl who achieves high marks at school, is recognized by a teacher as an excellent student and convinces the family to let her continue her education in another city. During her early youth, she meets a young man and falls in love, only to have him leave without explaining why. While attending school, her father becomes injured and her sister passes away. Nella, a high achiever, then goes to work for a local garment factory. At a young age, she becomes a supervisor, meets her husband and they become highly successful. They were generous to the community and church. As I mentioned, this novel tells the story of life, when Nella loses her husband suddenly and realizing their plans of travel were never realized. After I read this novel, my cousin and I fulfilled a dream of going to Italy together to...
I found it hard to put down this book. I cried, smiled, and related with fondness and sadness the characters and events to my own life. Don't hesitate to begin reading this amazing story.
Until recently, little has been said, outside family discussions, about the early immigrants and their lives. First of all, this compelling book is an easy to read. The story of Nella Castelucca is the story of so many... a smart, energetic young woman, from a farming family in Pennsylvania, who is singled out as one of the most intelligent students. The novel starts with the "Americana" teacher visiting her parents, convincing them to allow Nella to expand her education. They agree to let her go into the city and study. Like so many during that time, her father not only farmed but worked at the quarry. After her father is seriously injured in a quarry accident, Nella's plans changes, and she goes to work in a garment factory, where she excels as a worker and becomes a floor lady while still in her mid teens. The novel includes a first love, Renato, who vanishes from her life, and the man who she married, Franco, a co-worker who fell in love with Nell at first glance. Together, they...
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