Debut novel pays tribute to Italian grandmother

Nov 21, 2016 461

Christine Simolke of Marion has always been fascinated by the immigrant experience of Giovanna, her Italian grandmother. Giovanna and Simolke's great aunt, Evelina, often shared stories about their journey across the ocean, and tales of romance and secrets.

In her debut novel, "Children of Italy" (Hawkins Publishing), Simolke makes good on a promise to herself to revisit her grandmother's life story and draws on her family's experiences to tell of the hardworking, resilient and loving Falconi family in the 1920s. She tackles the cultural clashes, stigmas and harsh labor conditions that often faced immigrants.

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