Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Book Review: 'Out of the Nest' by Gaia B. Amman

Italian author Gaia B Amman moved to the United States in her twenties to pursue her PhD in molecular biology. A Professor of biology and cancer researcher at D'Youville College in Buffalo, New York, her research and commentaries have been published in prestigious peer-reviewed international journals including Nature. Gaia’s other love is writing and her goal is to provide succor for people in the struggles they face to embrace life. Her highest hope is to reach and help as many as she can through her writing as well as her teaching. Her Italian Saga, now four books in length, is an unofficial memoir set in the gorgeous area of Northern Italy

Gaia captures the flavor of Italy and more important the flavor and quintessence of childhood and adolescence in this immensely readable book. She has us from the first words of her well-placed Prologue – ‘September 1990, Arese, a small town in the Milan province, Northern Italy As I stared at his face, I understood the question he dared not ask. He glued his gaze on me, a slight blush betraying feelings I had not suspected. We had always been friends. I had never looked at him that way, but I allowed myself to: he was so darn handsome. His wild hair made him seem like the rebel he pretended to be. Instead, he was sweet and sincere even if, on one occasion or two, he had done rather questionable deeds. Boys will be boys. I knew he could be a jerk. His mesmerizing eyes, locked on mine, held no promise of that. He interrupted my catatonic state with his question. “Lee, do you want to be my girlfriend?” Was it possible that the love of my life had been there all along?‘

So we continue a memoir on a highflying adventure that restores memories that are too often tucked away in dreams to be dealt with later. ‘Italy, 1990. At eleven, Leda is a strong-headed bookworm and a tomboy who can’t fit anywhere as her world splits into girls and boys. Puberty is nonsensical and irritating until she falls victim to her first crush…On the background of the 14th FIFA soccer world cup Leda deals with middle school, periods, and first kisses in what will be the best summer of her life. Set against the gorgeous backdrop of Northern Italy and Tuscany, this funny, moving, and insightful memoir will have preteens and adults laugh and cry, empowering girls and women to be their brave true selves.’

And the discoveries continue – spilled out over the Italian countryside of Northern Italy Read for the joy of it – and for some very subtle encouragement about coping and secrets and growing into wise adults. Grady Harp, December 17
This book is free to borrow from Kindle Unlimited

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.