Journey Without a Map

22 October 2008

Journey Without A Map Growing up Italian: A Memoir
by Donna Caruso
Published by Thistledown Press
Review by Elizabeth McGill
$19.95 ISBN 978-1-897235-36-2

If you believe the love of a family is life’s greatest blessing, you’ll love Donna Caruso’s book Journey Without A Map Growing Up Italian: A Memoir. This book wraps us in a warmth as cozy as grandma’s quilt with liberal doses of love in every stitch.

Opening Caruso’s book is like opening your family photo albums. You’ll delight in remembering special events like graduations, reunions, and weddings. Equally special are the every day but never mundane events like children running through the sprinkler in the backyard or standing on a stool stirring cookie batter. Cooking is an important part of Italian culture. Caruso walks us through the art of salad making, cooking perfect pasta, and making miraculously healing chicken soup. This book is a legacy to her family with her pride shining through in every page. Caruso poignantly shares details of her life. Her book is sometimes humourous like Uncle Nick dancing at a wedding, sometimes sad like when grandma died when Caruso was thirteen years old, but always entertaining.

Caruso uses exquisite imagery throughout. In describing her grandfather’s prolific garden, she says it is as if he had enlisted all the angels in Heaven to assist him. Can’t you just picture hoe wielding angels? If her name sounds familiar, perhaps it’s because CBC radio has broadcast many of her stories and plays over the past twenty years. This Fort Qu’Appelle resident has had her work Under Her Skin short listed for a Saskatchewan Book Award. Journey Without A Map Growing Up Italian: A Memoir is short listed for 2008. It is already a winner.


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