African American History Month  History Kitty reads
February 9, 2016
Candace Hardy (22 articles)
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African American History Month History Kitty reads

Take Me with You by Carolyn Marsden

In a post WWII orphanage in Italy, Istituto di Gesu Bambino, two little girls, Pina and Susanna, best friends, wonder if they will ever have a real family. Having believed they were orphans,  they are each surprised to discover they have family members still living.The girls, while hopeful for adoption, dread the day that they are separated to go to new homes.

Susanna, beautiful carmel skinned with wiry hair, knows that she looks different than the Italian girls. Her father, an American soldier, a nero, must surely not even know of her existence.

When Susanna’s nero father, tall, handsome and looking as much like her as ‘two peas in a pod’, suprises her with a visit. her world is turned upside down. Should she call him Papa? Will he return? Or has she angered him with questions about her mother?

On Sundays after mass, prospective parents arrive at the orphanage to select a child who might be taken as their daughter. Pina is on her best behavior; after all, who wouldn’t love a blonde curly-haired little girl. Just as she believes she has caught the eye of a prospective mother, Suror Anna, shakes her head at the woman and her attention is drawn away from broken hearted Pina. Of course, Pina believes the woman was warned away because she wouldn’t be a good daughter, never guessing that she isn’t available for adoption.

When an attempt to “suffer” in order to gain the graces of the Blessed Virgin Mary, leaves Pina desperately ill, a telegram is sent to her mother. Susanna overhears Suror Anna remark that Pina’s mother never answered the telegram. Inspired to get better, Pina recovers and makes plans to locate her mother. Surely she lives very well and will be eager to take her home.

A well written and fairly easy chapter book, I recommend this to the young lady drawn to historical fiction.

Candace Hardy