Wednesday, September 09, 2009

It Happened in Italy, a review

I'm a little late reading and reviewing this book, only due to a busy summer. It is the story of a young American woman who comes across a picture taken during WWII in her family's Italian hometown and the unexpected road it leads her down... changing her life and others.

Like most people, I had no idea there were Jewish concentration camps in Italy during the war. I suppose that is not unusual as the author came to find most Italians were not aware of these camps. The more sleuthing the author does about the people in these camps, the more she comes to find an amazing story about the way Jews were treated in Italy compared to Germany.

I don't want to give away everything that happens but I can tell you her search leads her to people who had been in those camps, now very advanced in age. Part of the book is about her search to find the truth of what happened in Italy, another part of it is the story of the relationship she builds with these people and how one person can make a difference... not only in the lives of individuals but making certain an important part of history is remembered in Italy.

It is not a book that can be easily skimmed, there is a lot of information given that ties together an absolutely amazing story. This causes the writing to be just a tad on the "choppy" side at times but in no way keeps you from wanting to find out what happens next.

While everyone who enjoys reading about events of WWII will find this book interesting, I especially recommend it to homeschoolers who like to use whole books for study. This would have been a very good book to include in our studies.


scrappy quilter said...

I'm going to see if I can get our library to bring this one in. Thanks for the review. btw - there is a new Amish book out. It's on my blog today.

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

I'll try to find this one too.

Anonymous said...

I had no idea...thanks for sharing this. Looks like a book we should read...if we do not want to repeat history, we must learn it!

Giovanna said...

If you would like to read first hand accounts on this subjects, try to find a translation of Primo Levi's books: he was an Italian Jewish scientist who survided the camps and wrote about his staying in a first book (Se questo e'un uomo, sorry do not know how it has been translated), his long journey back on foot from Germany to Italy in a second one. Later in life, he wrote about the guilt feelings (he eventually committed suicide) of those that did survive (I sommersi e i salvati), very hard read, so worth it.