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Rosina, the Midwife

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Between 1870 and 1970, twenty-six million Italians left their homeland and travelled to places like Canada, Australia, and the United States, in search of work. Many of them never returned to Italy.

Rosina, the Midwife traces the author's family history, from their roots in Calabria in the south of Italy to their new home in Canada. Against this historic background, comes t
Paperback, 216 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Brindle & Glass
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Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a well written book. The author writes about her search for her great-great-grandmother. Including stories some of which are just stories that the family tells, others are true. She shares very personal pieces of herself and the journey she went on to discover her forebearer and herself. A great remnder that our ancestry helps us understand ourselves. I received a copy from Goodreads First Reads.
Kari Hakkers
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a great book! Grab yourself a tea and find your favorite chair because this book is taking you on a wonderful journey! Occasionally I find a well written book and enjoy it so much that I read it slower during the last chapter just to savor the ending---this book had me reading to savor after the very first chapter! It is a journey from America to Italy and back again with love,tears, and the richness of family history. This book was written by Jessica Kluthe and published by Brindle & Gl ...more
Diana Davidson
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is creative nonfiction at its finest. Kluthe engrosses you in her story, her search for what it means to be one nationality or another, what it means to be a mother or parent, what it means to make a new life in a new place and all that such a decision entails. Kluthe questions how memory and family lore shape our understandings of our selves and our place (s) in our multiple worlds. And like great memoirists such as Joan Didion and Jeanette Walls, Kluthe lays it all out on the pages for he ...more
May 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've read a few family histories, but this one is in a class all its own. I read it in big gulps, because I couldn't put it down, and more than a month later I still find myself thinking about Rosina. Kluthe has woven together personal memoir, genealogical sleuthing, travel writing, and the history of Edmonton's Italian immigrants to create a multifaceted gem of a story. Highly recommended.
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Kluthe masterfully paints pictures with words that totally immerse you in a time and place, and thoughtfully weaves together stories of the past and present. Stories that celebrate both the power of family and strong women.
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved, loved, loved this book. Jessica has done a fabulous job of taking many generations before her and bringing them to life for many generations after her to enjoy. This was a great read.
Lorne Daniel
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
'Rosina, the midwife' follows Jessica Kluthe as she searches to understand her deep interest in the life of her great-great-grandmother Rosina.

[Disclosure: I know the author through social media and correspondence and met her just before the launch of this book.]

Reading 'Rosina,' one follows the author gently pull back pieces of the family story to discover forgotten intricacies below. It is a gentle and caring process of uncovering.

At times poetic but always clean and clear, the story moves eas
Oct 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely enjoyed Rosina, the Midwife until the very last page of the book.

I found this novel to be, not only very well written but also, engaging, interesting, and wonderfully descriptive too. The author immediately builds a connection between the characters and the reader and I felt truly invested in seeing where the story would take us together.

This is such a beautifully written story and, for me, the last chapter (including a gorgeous poem) was my favorite part - it's not often that I c
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
This beautiful book is a personal history/family history as author Jessica Kluthe investigates the life of one of her ancestors, Rosina, a midwife. Rosina was the only one who stayed behind in Calabria while the rest of her family members moved away to Canada. This is a very personal book. Anyone reading it will learn a lot about Italians in Canada and the Italian diaspora.

The writing is nicely poetic.
Lindsey Rojem
I read this for the "An Author Local To You" part of my 2020 reading challenge. The timelines flipping back & forth confused me a little, otherwise it was an interesting story of a woman's Italian heritage and their life in Edmonton and Calabria. ...more
Sophie Watson
Dec 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful writing! This is a very creative memoir and it shows the possibilities of telling our story and our family's stories in such a meaningful and poetic way. It made me want to discover my own family's history in a more thorough way. Bravo, Jessica Kluthe!
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down!
Laura Frey (Reading in Bed)
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Despite the title, there’s more to this book than pregnancy. Actually, pregnancy and childbirth didn’t play as big a role as I thought they would. I was expecting something like The Birth House. Pregnancy, birth, and loss all play a part, but this is really a story about identity and home.

I didn’t know Rosina was a memoir until I was offered a copy by the staff at LitFest, a non-fiction festival. It reads very much like fiction. I kept forgetting, and thinking “I wonder why she chose this settin
Aaron Brame
Dec 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
If there were such thing as a Mr. Brame's Lock of the Month!™, I would give it to this book, Rosina the Midwife by Jessica Kluthe. Kluthe, a promising young writer from Alberta, has accomplished a unique feat in Rosina, a book that is simultaneously family history, twentieth-century history, and personal narrative.

At the heart of the book is Rosina, the author's great-great-grandmother, who was a midwife in Calabria. After World War II, Rosina's family left their ancestral home in southern Italy
Jun 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Jessica Kluthe reaches a hand – at first tentative and trembling – across oceans and generations from her life in Canada to that of her ancestors in Italy in her captivating family memoir, Rosina, the Midwife. Those ancestors were part of a 26-million-strong exodus of Italians from 1870 to 1970, departing Italy for other parts of Europe and further afield, to North America. Kluthe’s particular focus, however, is the stalwart and enigmatic figure of a family member who chose to stay behind: her g ...more
Hyrum Sutton
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rosina, the Midwife recounts Jessica's journey of discovering the stories in her family history. This book was particularly interesting to me because my mother's family came from Calabria, the same part of Italy that Rosina lived. One of the attractive parts of the read was noting the similarities between her Italian family and mine, though there are some differences. It's also fun being from Edmonton, hometown of the author, and reading about some of the landmarks that I grew up with.

One of the
Amanda Jardine
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"Rosina, The Midwife" reminds readers and writers of the importance of labouring for a story.

In a journey to know her long deceased great great grandmother, Kluthe uses her pages in a way that is both, and at once, gracious and courageous. Through meditative description and resounding atmosphere, Kluthe carefully leads her audience inside of the surgery of history and the magic of memory- firming her position as a deserving contemporary memoirist and committed storyteller.

Throughout the narrativ
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: can-lit
I really enjoyed this book for a couple of reasons. First, Kluthe's writing elicits vivid images for the reader of her personal memories and thoughts. Secondly, I thought she wove the various stories delicately and effectively. She takes her memories, stories she has imagined, as well as local/family history into a beautiful narrative. To me, it's a meld of fiction and non-fiction - the content and story are non-fiction but her descriptive writing is up there with the best novels.
Nov 18, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is an interesting read about family history, emigration, and family that you have never met. I had been expecting more in the story regarding midwifery, but this ended up being only a small part of this book. The author is researching her Italian heritage and although it became a little difficult to keep up with who was who near the end of the book, it was still an enjoyable read. A gifted author with huge potential!
Jun 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
A poignant meditation on the journey of the author to trace her family history, esp. that of Rosina, the midwife, her great-great grandmother. I loved the vivid descriptions of the Calabrian landscape, and both the real and imagined life of Rosina, and the echoes within the author's contemporary life. It's a lovely story, sifting through the layers within a family history, as well as the experiences of Italian immigrants in the 20th century and those they left at home.
Adeline K. Piercy
Aug 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Poetic, feminine, and truly inspiring. The passion Jessica has for her family and the love that she developed for Rosina was so evident. The simplicity and peaceful nature of the story made it such a relaxing read and yet it excited something within me to start looking into the history of my family. Excellent read.
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was beautifully written. Jessica writes in a way that enraptures her readers and allows them to feel all the memories she's reliving and imagining.
Jan 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Good. Slow at the beginning but it picked up and was very enjoyable. More enjoyable because I live in the city where it is set.
Jan 03, 2014 added it
really enjoyed this book, the author kept me enthralled and wanting to read more, I couldn't put the book down.
Paula Kirman
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is an actual family history but is as intriguing as a novel.
Erin McCarty-Buijs
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Just finished my second read. What a beautifully crafted narrative, blending history and exceptional imagery. Loved it.
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Jessica Kluthe--named one of Edmonton’s Top 40 Under 40--holds and MFA from the University of Victoria.

Her stories and writing have appeared in publications including The Malahat Review, Little Fiction, Red Savina Review, and Avenue Magazine as well as three anthologies: Eat It: Food, Sex, Women’s Writing and 40 Below: Edmonton’s Winter Anthology, and Telling Truths: Storying Motherhood.

Her first

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