Cover Image: Between the Cracks: One Woman's Journey from Sicily to America

Between the Cracks: One Woman's Journey from Sicily to America

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This was mostly a depressing story. It began with a young girl losing her family in a Sicilian earthquake. She lives in a convent doing needlework but has the chance to marry a man who had immigrated to the US. While there were some happy times after the marriage, the last half just has tragedy after tragedy. I appreciate the details and how it's based on a real life story, it was just very depressing to read.
Was this review helpful?
The premise, at first sight, is a simple one.

Our protagonist, Angela, survives a tragedy that claims her family and begins her life in a convent. Before she can become a fully-realized nun however, she marries a Sicilian immigrant living in America, Franco.
The life is idyllic: her husband makes a lot of money and Angela herself is installed in a house he prepared for her and is quick to find a job she likes. She immediately becomes friends with her sister-in-law, who reminds Angela of her younger sister that she had lost.

However, not everything is as easy as it appears at first glance. Angela is still haunted by the memory of the tragic day when Mount Etna erupted. She’s certain her sister had survived and feels guilty because she’s certain that had she stayed in the convent a little longer, the sisters could have been reunited. After making peace with her past, new problems emerge with the people she loves. Sometimes, Angela’s own wit and determination is enough to overcome the obstacles, but more often than not the bad things happen and Angela has to find inner strength to live through them and help the others as best she can.

Angela is a fascinating character. Living at the time when women did not have much agenda, she is independent and resourceful, bent many times but never broken. Her husband, Franco, is an enjoyable character of his own, but he pales in comparison to his headstrong wife.

I found that I never for a moment did not enjoy Angela. She had not always been as submissive as other people wanted (whether her superiors in the convent or her husband). The side characters are vivid. The beginning of the book is slow but it picks up later and hardly leaves time to pause for breath.

An enjoyable short read about life in Sicily and The United States at the beginning of the 20th century.
Was this review helpful?
The author wrote this novel based on her great-aunt's experiences after the 1908 Mt. Edna earthquake.  The main character, Angela, is orphaned after the earthquake and is sent to a convent in Italy to be raised.  Angela eventually meets the man she would marry, despite not knowing him well,  and moves to the United States.  This novel highlighted the strength that it must have taken for Angela to not only survive losing her whole family to tragedy, but to start over in a new Country with a man that she barely knows.  This was a great read and I think part of my enjoyment came from knowing that it was based on a true story.
Was this review helpful?