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Friday, March 23, 2018

You Were There Before My Eyes by Maria Riva

You Were There Before My Eyes

A story of a very unusual, strong woman for her times. The first half of the twentieth century.

Seemingly without a romantic bone in her body Giovanni just wanted to get out of her time warp of a village in Italy. She knew the only way out was marriage and when one came her way, even though she was second or third choice of the handsome Giovanna she grabbed it determined to make it work.
Arriving in a land totally alien to her, she somehow managed on the arduous journey by sea to America to learn a bit of English or American as described, just to get by.

Her journey, her marriage, her adaptation to the American way of life and to the ways of her husband who though not unjust was bordering on the indifferent would have made another woman unhappy, In Jane's case (which was the name she chose) she felt that this was her path and just made the best out of it.

The story runs along the lives of this immigrant family along with many other immigrants in the same community surrounded by Hannah and Fritz whose boarding house they all land in before they find their separate ways. It is Hannah and Fritz who act as surrogate parents to the differing men who have all left their homes to find their fame and fortune in America.

Apart from the family saga, the story of Henry Ford is of paramount importance in the story. From its initial beginnings to the very end of this story, Henry Ford created a workforce of such loyalty amongst these people that could I think never be duplicated. They believed in him implicitly that all he did he did for the good of his people, and his country.

This was a fascinating story very well told. Descriptive not just about the immigrants and their daily life, it was also descriptive of the Henry Ford story (which was very unknown to me!).

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Pegasus Books.


  1. I do not know anything really about Henry Ford

  2. This does sound like a fascinating read - thanks for sharing!

  3. I love immigrant stories because I admire people who can leave their native country, knowing they'll never live there again. This sounds terrific!

  4. I like a good immigrant story - although I would be hopeless if I would be in their shoes. This one sounds very good and worth reading.

  5. My thoughts echo bermudaonion's. Sounds like a good read.

  6. I was curious about this one because it's an Italian immigrant story. And did you know that the author Maria Riva is the daughter of Marlene Dietrich?