Understanding The Children’s Train by Viola Ardone

Based on a true events, with more than 5,922 ratings on Goodreads, when I saw The Children’s Train, by Viola Ardone, Translated by Clarissa Botsford, eBook on sale I couldn’t let it pass me by.

Lately, it’s been laborious to read, to concentrate. I’ve read that it’s “pandemic brain,” but it could easily be attributed to my autoimmune disorder, stress, or just being a parent to a young child. Regardless, I managed to read and finish this book.

With little knowledge of my paternal Italian heritage, lately, I’ve become utterly obsessed with all things southern Italian. The history, the culture, the traditions and influences that have shaped this region and perhaps, the small ancient village that my grandmother was from: Sannicandro di Bari, Bari, Puglia, Italy.

This is a story about the devastation of poverty. “La Miseria” it’s called. It’s a story of the heart-wrenching love of a single mother with little to offer her child, and so she grudgingly agrees to send him away. The book is described as a coming of age story but I found it rather odd, as it jumps from a seven-year-old protagonist, Amerigo Speranza, to his return home as a man, with a plot hole in between. I would have enjoyed to have more details filled in about what his life was like and why he made the choices that he made.

I was also left wondering about the identity of his mother’s lover as Amerigo notices his real name of his mailbox, he comes to a realization but it wasn’t clear to me, what exactly that realization signified.

This is a book about Italy, about love, loss and ambition. As a mother to a young son and as a child of a single parent, raised in poverty, now motherless, I won’t lie. This book made me cry.

If you enjoy moving historical fiction or are an italophile like me, I definitely recommend it.

View my entire list of Italian Heritage book recommendations on Bookshop.org

Author

Spread the love

More Articles for You

Searching the 1950 Census: Things I didn’t Know about East Harlem & Vito

I always thought 2nd Avenue was expansive. I have fond memories of playing in the open “pompa” – Spanglish for …

Spread the love

Frida on Chestfeeding: A Study in Empathy and Deep Customer Understanding

Really well done Frida Mom! This is how you resonate with your audience. Author Literanista Spread the lovemore

Spread the love

La Brega: A Podcast About the Puerto Rican Experience

In the past several years, I’ve suffered a lot of loss, besides the turmoil of the pandemic, my mother, my …

Spread the love

We Are Legion: Social Media Protips from the founder of Beyoncé Legion

This: “Posting content on such a huge platform can’t be done randomly. You need to be highly organized and consistent. …

Spread the love

For Rosa: A Film About Forced Sterilization

HBO acquired, “For Rosa”, a fictional film inspired by the true story of 10 Latina women in Los Angeles who …

Spread the love

Healthy Shrimp Etouffee con Sofrito

As a way of decompressing and getting my mind off of a lot things, I’ve taken up a lot of …

Spread the love