Swimming in the Moon
By Pamela Schoenewaldt
Hello everybody!!! How’s everyone today? I am so excited!! I can see some grass out there today!! This is a book that was published in September of 2013. I checked this one out of my local library. This is another historical fiction novel. This is a little different though no castles or Kings and Queens here! It’s focus is the challenges that immigrants faced in this country. This book is not that long though, only 341 pages! This is Pamela’s second novel. The first is When We Were Strangers. I have not read this one. It does sound good though!
This book starts in the early 1900s in Italy. The main characters, Teresa and her daughter, Lucia are servants there in a villa. They escape Italy to go to Cleveland, Ohio. Here they start a new life and Teresa becomes the Naples Nightingale a singing sensation of vaudeville. Life in Ohio brings many new trials and tribulations for this mother and daughter. Lucia must grow up quickly and learn how to support herself and later also her mother. With no other family in the country she learns to forge friendships with people that she can rely on for support.
I liked Lucia as a character, she is a very strong and determined woman. The book shows the obstacles she must overcome as an immigrant. Lucia also shows us how the young immigrants were often exploited and worked under horrible conditions. She becomes an activist for change in the labor force. Lucia’s mother suffers from mental illness and we are shown how Lucia is forced to deal with this problem. We are shown the inhumane and bizarre treatments used for mental illness during this time period.
I really enjoyed this book! I read this one in 3 days. I felt that it had a good plot and was well written. I live in Akron, Ohio which is not far from Cleveland, so the area it was set in is familiar to me. I found the book to be engaging. It just sort of unfolded. I especially liked the ending. It ties the book together really well with the beginning. There is also a romance woven into the book. I think this is a good look at what shaped the founders of our country. I give this book a 4.5 out of 5.