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Given Away, a Sicilian Upbringing

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  34 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
In Sicily, 1935 a four-year child walks away from her loving family, her mother, her sister and an infant brother, with a great-aunt for a vacation. She spends the next eight years of her life absent from their lives. It was not an abduction nor was it an adoption. Tina lives in a one-room house in one of the poorest regions of Sicily. She sleeps between a loving aunt and ...more
Paperback, 290 pages
Published October 2nd 2013 by Createspace (first published June 17th 2013)
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  • Given Away, a Sicilian Upbringing by Marianna Randazzo
    Given Away, a Sicilian Upbringing
    Release date: Oct 02, 2013


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    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30)
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    Queen Spades
    Jul 22, 2013 Queen Spades rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: royally-favored
    This novel took me on a roller coaster of emotions.

    Conflicted: I confess to feeling conflicted about Tina’s mother, Sarina. Although towards the end of the book, she strives to be a better mother for her youngest two children, it doesn’t quite forgive the way she was at the beginning with her other children. Sarina does have moments when she feels some levels of guilt for giving Tina away, but it’s not powerful enough for her to insist on getting her back from Vittoria. It’s only when she’s nee
    Conrad Biazzo
    Jul 02, 2013 Conrad Biazzo added it  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: everyone
    Recommended to Conrad by: Lisa Arezzi
    I found this to be an astonishing novel about a generation that had to endure horrific hardship, poverty and war as it was a part of their everyday life. Tina shows us a glimpse of reality in another time not so far removed from the present. It is an inspiration story of human courage and spirit. I recommend it.
    Kobby Gyampoh
    Jul 30, 2013 Kobby Gyampoh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

    "...not Chick-lit. BUT it's a book for chicks and a great lit."

    That's How Marianna pitched to the blog. And by those words I thought to myself, "Hmm... why not give this not-chick-lit a try."

    Great, great book. So I am going to write the shortest review.

    Set in the era of 'Il Duce' regime when Italy was a bloc of fascists and illiterates, Marianna drops in tidbits of info during the period and keeps us informed about the political events as years pass by. Suc
    Elizabeth Johnstone Evans
    An amazing story about a very hard life. The hard life of many, a whole family. Born and raised during a world war. Very little food and money. Having the little they had taken away by the german soldiers. Taking all for themselves. In a time when it was custom for children to be sent to live with relatives. Some to be raised and others to help take care of the sick and the babies. Always under hardships and sacrifices. Also a time where sickness was the hardest to deal with. When doctors costed ...more
    Y. Correa
    Jul 19, 2013 Y. Correa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I found this story to be a very endearing and powerful one.

    Although at one moment or another the story spoke of other family members, it revolved more around Tina—who was the main character.

    It's a story of hardships, love, and loss, but mostly of survival of a Sicilian family during the 2nd World War. Tina was the one that was ultimately given away. Though in her younger years she didn't understand it, in her teen years she came to understand the concept of 'going on vacation'. One from which sh
    Filomena Abys-Smith
    Given Away by Marianna Randazzo
    Given Away is a wonderful novel about the strength of the human spirit. Marianna writes a compelling novel based on actual events that took place in her own family, and the descriptive details pull you into pages. What an ingenious form of writing, using family stories to instruct the reader about World War 2 history as well as give details about Sicilian culture. As I followed Little Tina's struggle to survive not only in a war torn country but in the confinemen
    Ahmed Raza
    Not quite the novel I was expecting - it turned out more of a biographical memoir in it's style and development. The scattering of errors here and there that a copy-editor worth their salt should have picked up , occasionally distract the attention from what is a good read. It's something that does leave a mark on you , as you follow the growth of this young girl's life of confusion , pain and poverty who ,despite all the odds against her , wins not only your heart but keeps her own going too.
    Allison Kohn
    Mar 05, 2014 Allison Kohn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This is an intense history of a family in Sicily during the time immediately before Hitler began his mad reign of terror. It is fiction based on facts that are shocking and depressing at time without any graphic descriptions. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a well written fiction based on history. sometimes that is the best way to get history. We are made acquainted with more than facts and it is made more real to us.
    Marianna Randazzo
    Jul 18, 2013 Marianna Randazzo rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: books-i-wrote
    5.0 out of 5 stars Warm touching story of life growing up in Sicily., July 9, 2013
    By Gale D'Onofrio - See all my reviews
    This review is from: Given Away, A Sicilian Upbringing (Kindle Edition)
    As I was reading it brought me back to the days my grandmother would talk about. It's a beautiful story.
    Tami Nelson
    Thank you! Thank You! THANK YOU, Goodreads First reads and Marianna Randazzo for this beautiful memoir. OMG. It was the most beautiful inspiring book I have ever read. It had me in tears. A wonderful story of family, perseverance, and letting go. I am definitely never ever letting this book go! Thanks again from the bottom of my heart. You are beautiful!
    Aug 22, 2013 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This is the first novel by this author and it took me by storm. I could not put it down! It tells the story of a little girl in the middle of a war. But not just WWII, her own war with herself after she is taken away from her parents to live with her loving, yet battered aunt and abusive uncle. This book is an excellent read for anyone, of all ages! I highly recommend this book.
    Jul 18, 2013 Gaspare rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This was an amazing book that shows the hard life of a girl growing up during difficult times. It really provides details of what life was like during war time and how it could change a family. It is inspiring, heart warming, and great for anyone who is enduring challenging times in their lives.
    Jul 06, 2013 Louise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Loved it! We tend to forget experiences that our ancestors had to endure.
    Book may have been fiction, but it brought back many rooted facts...
    Dec 10, 2013 April rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Wonderful story of Italian heritage of the life through the eyes and heart of a young girl wonderfully written amazing a must read
    Aug 22, 2013 Gaspare rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I could not put this book down! Every chapter ends leaving you wanting more. A must read.
    Dec 10, 2013 Brandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Wonderful true story of Italian heritage a must read
    Tiziano Dossena
    Jul 21, 2016 Tiziano Dossena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Sicily, 1935: Sarina, a young woman with three children, gives up her young daughter Tina to her aunt Vittoria, who lives in a different town, with no apparent explanation. The child, just four, at first is intrigued by the move, which she believes to be a summer vacation, but slowly reality settles in and her journey into abandonment begins.

    “Given Away, A Sicilian Upbringing” is the chronicle of a lost childhood, written with a tight, journalistic style, reminiscent of a diary; and of the diary
    This is a debut novel from this Author, and one that I had particular interest in reading, as my Husband’s family are from this part of the world.

    As I started into the book,, I was expecting a novel of great proportions, given the subject matter, but in this area I felt the book did not deliver. Instead of being the story I expected, it read more like a social history/personal account of the period covered, and how conditions were living under Mussolini. This in itself, led to a very interesting
    Aug 15, 2014 Far rated it did not like it
    A book about Italian life between the era of Mussolini and Nazism is an interesting concept - however, in this book, it was NOT executed (or edited!) well at all.

    The reviews of this book are totally hyped up and it seems like the author used her friends to make her writing credible. This book is marketed as a novel, and yet it reads like a poor biography, filled with he said, she said, he did, she did type of phrasing. Furthermore, Randazzo doesn't use proper grammar and doesn't bother to show,
    Patricia Kaniasty
    Left me yawning in a few places. It was interesting in certain places like the parts about the war and such but that's about it. Nothing truly special about this book.
    Marianna Randazzo
    Aug 23, 2013 Marianna Randazzo rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
    Amanda rated it it was ok
    Dec 07, 2016
    Alwyn Protheroe
    Alwyn Protheroe rated it liked it
    Aug 14, 2013
    Marianna Randazzo
    Nov 09, 2013 Marianna Randazzo rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
    Lisa Arezzi
    Lisa Arezzi rated it it was amazing
    May 04, 2016
    Gaspare Randazzo
    Gaspare Randazzo rated it it was amazing
    Jun 04, 2013
    Francesca Mannina
    Francesca Mannina rated it liked it
    Oct 30, 2016
    Susana Sanders
    Susana Sanders rated it liked it
    Sep 04, 2015
    Maryellen rated it really liked it
    Dec 11, 2015
    Tanya rated it liked it
    Oct 29, 2013
    « previous 1 next »
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