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Swimming in the Moon

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  1,074 Ratings  ·  160 Reviews
From the author of When We Were Strangers comes a uniquely American story-a tale of deep, shifting ties between a determined daughter and her gifted, wounded mother in the early 1900s, framed by bitter union strikes, the thrill of vaudeville and a young woman's struggle to find her place

Lucia D'Angelo's voice is nothing like her mother's. She's no nightingale with the gorg
Paperback, 358 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this book very much. A very meaty plot with a very determined protagonist.
This is a book that I had trouble putting down. As a historical novel set in the early 20th Century, it gave me a glimpse of a time, places and issues that were mostly unfamiliar to me. The setting for the book in the beginning is Italy, then later the United States. I thought the author did an excelleent job of conveying place, while not being overly descriptive. I was interested in how the author captured life in the early 20th Century and issues of the time, including the blending of immigran ...more
Kathleen S
Feb 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
In this early 20th century Italy to America immigrant story, Pamela Schoenenwaldt is juggling many issues: immigration, mental illness, worker’s rights, women workers, mother-daughter relationships, romance, and maybe more. She does not drop any of them. To me, as the reader, there are too problems swirling around at the same time.

After a slow start the author finally creates enough tension for the story to pick up. I did want to know how the she was going to wrap up the various issues. She acco
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What an exceptional book that I did not want to end! This historical fiction starts in the very early 1900s in Italy, with a girl and her young mother, both servants to a Countess. Unfortunate circumstances force them to leave Italy and they find themselves on a ship to America. They are in dire financial circumstances as are most immigrants at the time, and as the daughter takes to school and high school, the mother begins to sing in Vaudeville to earn a living. This life does not last long as ...more
Feb 08, 2014 rated it liked it
What I loved about this book: Schoenewaldt deftly relates the Triangle Factory Fire's effect on other cities' garment workers, Cleveland's in particular. Unions and their history in this country are endlessly fascinating to me, and the author offers a great deal of insight into their beginnings.

I mostly liked the protagonist, Lucia, though she develops a bit of a martyr complex toward the end of the novel, and her unending idealism is wearing. Still, she is a strong, loving, good person whose de
Nov 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fourteen-year-old Lucia and her mother Teresa are forced to flee from their home in a lavish villa by the sea in Naples, living in the service of Count Filippo and Countess Elizabetta, following an angry and violent outburst by Teresa. Paolo, a loyal aid to the household is charged with arranging their journey by sea to their eventual new home with Paolo’s cousin Rosanna, who runs a boarding house in Cleveland, USA.

Once settled in Cleveland and doing very well with her studies Lucia sets her he
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“Lucia D'Angelo's voice is nothing like her mother's. She's no nightingale with the gorgeous tones, tender and passionate, peaking and plummeting as dramatically as her moods. Yet in the rough world she's chosen, Lucia's words may truly change lives. In 1904, fourteen-year-old Lucia and her young mother Teresa are servants in a count's lush villa on the Bay of Naples. Between scrubbing floors and polishing silver, Teresa soothes the unhappy countess with song until one morning's
Sep 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This book really blew me away! In 1904 Lucia and her mother Teresa leave Naples for Cleveland and a new life working in a factory with thousands of other Italians, Poles, Irish, and Bohemians. At 14, Lucia goes to school, learning English quickly, and is able to scribe letters home for other Italians who can't read or write, earning extra money. Her mother works in a factory dipping chocolates and entertaining workers with her beautiful voice. Lucia's greatest dream is to finish high school ...more
My Book Addiction and More MBA
SWIMMING IN THE MOON by Pamela Schoenewaldt is an interesting Historical Fiction set in 1905 Italy and Cleveland,Ohio. What an interesting story on immigrant life in the 1900's. Young Lucia,and her mother must flee the Bay of Naples,in Italy, where they end up in Cleveland,Ohio. Lucia's mother, Teresa, has a beautiful voice but she also has demons. Teresa becomes the Naples Nightingale and works on the Vandeville circuit. While young Lucia is clever,hardworking,and struggles to fit into her new ...more
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
The story deals with mother-daughter Italian immigrants, and how they find their way in Cleveland, Ohio. The novel details how they survive within an early 20th century harsh environment.

The book begins in 1904, and the time period and struggles to live are depicted strongly, from women's rights, factory work, workhouses, boarding houses, the ability to buy food and clothes, and basically every daily life situation.

Within Cleveland, the immigrant world is abundant, with immigrants from all over
This is GOOD!!! Born in Italy, Lucia and her mother immigrate to America and try to settle into Cleveland. Lucia has her own ambitions but they are cut short by her mother's descent into madness. She meets Hendryk a Jewish boy at an English class at the immigrant center but feels it is no good as he has to marry where his parents say.
Good in math, she gets a job in accounting but soon seeing how badly immigrants are treated at the jobs they are desperate to keep, she finds something else to do a
This lovely, simultaneously sad and uplifting story of immigration weaves the intimate lives of our main characters into the great movements of the early 20th century. The relationships are touching, and I appreciated the focus on the topics of poverty, labor, mental illness, and diversity among migrant populations. Love (in friendship and romance) is threaded throughout. I recommend this to anyone interested in the early 20th-century American experience.
Kate Kerrigan
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully drawn novel about what is the deepest and most important love story of our lives - that of a mother and daughter. Swimming in The Moon brings history alive with such passion and attention to detail - I was just carried along by the characters and did not want the story to end. A book to to savor by an accomplished female voice. Loved it.
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Teresa and her daughter are servants to a wealthy countess in Naples. Their lives change in a heartbeat and they flee to America. I loved how the story wove together their personal struggles against the struggles of all immigrants and workers in early twentieth-century America. I honestly could not put this book down; I was completely taken in by the characters and their story.
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: disappointed
A depressing story with an incongruous fairy tale ending.
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Simply Amazing! Especially for anyone that appreciates high-quality Historical fiction.
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is breathtakingly beautifully written!
Laura Veenendaal
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great read all the way through ... a bit of a boring ending
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite book for sure. It started with one story line, which led to another and then another etc. ending up with a main story of unions and strikes. No thank you!
Oonagh Clarke
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not a book I would normally read but enjoyed it
Rita Janzen
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Family and friends
I really enjoyed this book. This was my first book in the historical fiction genre. I found the descriptions very immersive and I really enjoyed learning more about the working conditions in the early 1900s in America. It really gave a true daily life feel of what people went through.
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts lebt die 14jährige Lucia Esposito gemeinsam mit ihrer Mutter Teresa in einem noblen Palazzo Neapels. Dort arbeiten die beiden für den Grafen Filippo Monforte und dessen Ehefrau. Lucia liebt das Leben am Golf von Neapel, wo der Himmel im Sommer strahlend blau und die Sonne kräftig ist, während vom Wasser eine stetige, sanfte Brise weht...
Doch Teresas Temperament bringt sowohl sie selbst als auch ihre Tochter in die Bredouille: der Graf holt einen nicht minder grausamen
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Lucia D'Angelo's voice is nothing like her mother's. She's no nightingale with the gorgeous tones, tender and passionate, peaking and plummeting as dramatically as her moods. Yet in the rough world she's chosen, Lucia's words may truly change lives. In 1904, fourteen-year-old Lucia and her young mother Teresa are servants in a count's lush villa on the Bay of Naples. Between scrubbing floors and polishing silver, Teresa soothes the unhappy countess with song until one morning's calamity hurls m ...more
Tanya Carper
Mar 10, 2017 rated it liked it
A young Italian girl immigrates to Cleveland, Ohio with her mother to start a new life in America. There are many adventures, sorrows and successes along the way. And in the end, she comes out okay.
Reeka (BoundbyWords)
As seen on my blog:

What a beautiful title: Swimming in the Moon . A beautiful title, a beautiful cover, and lyrical prose that described images of rolling hills, cobblestone streets, and sun-kissed horizons-at least for the first 20 or so pages. It was the first time I've ever visited Naples, Italy, and even though I got whisked away from it after only 2 chapters, it couldn't have been a better place to begin the book in.

Despite the vivid,and romantic scenery, Swimming in the Moon was a book s
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Lucia is just 14 when her mother, Teresa, is branded "unstable" and a hysteric. During an incident when Teresa attacks a quack doctor to rescue Lucia from being tortured, mother and daughter are forced to flee Italy. With help from the countess, for whom Lucia and her mother have worked since Lucia was a baby, and Paolo, the countess's confidante, the two flee to a boarding house in Cleveland, Ohio.

Lucia, her mother and their story captured my heart from the very beginning. And it just gets bett
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received the book “Swimming in the Moon” by Pamela Schoenewaldt as an ARC through and Harper Collins Publishers. I was thankful and excited to receive the opportunity to read and then share my thoughts on this book with my fellow book-lovers.

This book begins in 1904 Naples and is told from the perspective of young Lucia, the daughter of a servant, in the villa of a count and countess. Lucia’s mother, Teresa, struggles with what seems to be a form of mental illness but those
Wisteria Leigh
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lucia has moments of doubt about her mother Teresa Esposito’s sometimes peculiar behavior. She never knew her father, who deserted the two before she was born. Their mother/daughter bond is strong, so tender, they even share the same bed. They are both servants for the Count and Countess Monforte in Naples, Italy in 1905. Teresa sings like an angel and she often is called upon to soothe the Countess during her frequent migraines. The Count is a contentious cad, impressed with his privileged posi ...more
Feb 25, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked this novel but the story line got a little lost about 3/4 way through with all the historical information on strikes.
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Teresa und ihre Tochter Lucia arbeiten in Neapel als Dienstmädchen. Nach einem Vorfall sind die beiden gezwungen Neapel zu verlassen, sie beschließen deswegen nach Amerika zu gehen und dort einen Neuanfang zu wagen. Doch auch hier ist das Leben hart und die impulsive Teresa hat den Traum als Sängerin groß rauszukommen, während Lucia ihre schulische Ausbildung fortsetzt. Und so geht das Leben weiter bis die beiden mit der Vergangenheit konfrontiert werden.

"Die Tochter der Nachtigall" ist sehr gut
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Pamela Schoenewaldt lived for ten years in a small town outside Naples, Italy. Her short stories have appeared in literary magazines in England, France, Italy and the United States. Her play, “Espresso con mia madre” (Espresso with my mother) was performed at Teatro Cilea in Naples. She taught writing for the University of Maryland, European Division and the University of Tennessee and now lives i ...more
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