Arminuta of Donatella Di Pietrantonio Review

The girl is thirteen, sensitive, intelligent and outgoing. The caring parents have well protected raised the only child and encouraged in all. The family lives in a neat little house right on the beach. One day, driving her father – he’s Carabiniere – with it up to a mountain village in the Abruzzo region and gives them there with their luggage with her strange people from which one has told her her real family were , Their protests did not agree to the Father for, he lets her back alone.

In fact Adalgisa is that she called her life “mother” and who had filled that role blameless, a cousin of her biological mother, when she feeds. She had the child – her third or fourth – given six months to the “aunt” who wanted a child, but none got himself. Until the day of return in August 1975, there was almost no further contact between the families.

The girl is deprived of a sudden the ground under their feet.

From one day to the next she has no mother, no family, no home – and at the same two mothers, two families two Homes: “with two living mothers, I was an orphan.”

Where it belongs now? What are its roots? To whom it may still take confidence if a mother has given away as a helpless baby, the other she could tear her young life from the security and return as an object whose one is tired? How can they cling? To hope to be able to return to Adalgisa again?

No one has called her a reason why she was deported twice in life, so it is helpless and desperate.

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She does not judge, but wants to understand: What terrible burden to bear Women in their hearts that they are able to separate from her helpless newborn and cherished for years daughter? That the mother had been ill lately, it has not escaped. If you want to spare the child suffering or even the death of the mother? What serious mistake committed by them that they can not help her?

The new environment could not be more different. Life in the house of the “village mother” is, unlike that of the “Sea Mother”, marked by deprivation and sacrifice. Dullness, a harsh sound and beats determine the encounters between the unkempt and uneducated family members. They are not evil and not heartless, but clumsy and unable to express their feelings. The apartment is neglected and much too small. The five children from infants to fifteen year old sleeping in a musty room, located filthy beds share.

rootlessness and lostness of the new arrivals are typified by their anonymity. She will never addressed by their names, not even she mentioned him. The children in the village and their siblings they call “the Arminuta” which means in dialect “the Back Come” and not as a welcome gift, but is meant contemptuously. Like one spits on the ground when the supposedly snooty from a distant world meet.

In fact, the girl is anything but arrogant. She never complains the lost afterwards, but come to terms with fixed conditions. She shares a bed with three years younger sister Adriana, ignored their dingy Constitution, edgy emotion and allnächtliches bedwetting. Soon the two combines all differences of socialization of time understanding and solidarity – a true friendship that both good for and will last for decades. ( “Arminuta” tells her story in retrospect of adults.)

But never wants to add the involuntary Back Come in a fate that others have determined for them. “I’m not a package, listens kindly to me herumzuschubsen” she insists. Long the background remain invisible to them. Tirelessly she ponders what Adalgisa and her husband may have moved to return them, why the two hide from her why her other parents mention. She tries to bring those responsible and interested parties to talk, window and yet again only their impotence. Nevertheless, it does not give hope for a turn to a better future on out.

A significant effect exert Vincenzo, the fifteen-year-old brother with his ambiguous, yet unsettled character. Although its intrusiveness brash and unpolished, he gives the girl but the only one (besides Adriana) the feeling of being loved even as a human being. Before the bilateral Hormonaufwallung can become a problem, the boy takes a tragic end.

A perspective to leave the mountain village, the narrator open their outstanding academic performance. Her teacher urges the educated parents, the clever girls to register necessarily at a high school in the city -. For “the Arminuta” a powerful weapon on the way to a self-determined existence

This is a simple , quiet novel that reproduces a simple storyline in unadorned everyday language. Your strength gains the story from how it permeates their subjects. The focus is on the search for their own identity, so abruptly in the narrator and painful triggered. This is accompanied, as the basic, multi-faceted notion “mother” to her melts away into nothing. The author makes them metaphorically to a place clot, “There is a persistent emptiness that I know of, but not overcome … A desolate landscape, the night takes your sleep and the little bit that makes them one with nightmares filled”. With the mother the child any certainty any sense of belonging and will have to boot the guilt loses process that creep into their conscience. The adults must be wondering what motherhood means the result of the responsibility of her, how difficult it is to do it justice when suffering or distress no freedom of choice can be more.

The scenes are barely individualized and create yet a palpable mood. The large, modern coastal city (Pescara) offers carelessness, openness, diversity of opportunity. The a hundred kilometers away, mountainous region of Abruzzo (with the Gran Sasso massif), however, cut off from the world and backward, the breed of people acting tough and thick-skinned, brittle their dialect. The children in the novel have never eaten ice, the adults never seen the sea. A TV is luxury, Vincenzo moped a status symbol. Since ancient times destroying natural disasters (landslides, avalanches, earthquakes – we remember L’Aquila in 2009 and Amatrice 2016) whole life’s work, and the people remained to this day no choice but to endure tragedies and injustices of their existence with equanimity. So there was (and other poor areas of Italy) until well into the twentieth century the painful practice to issue a newborn in the family circle, when it itself would not be able to raise.

Donatella di Pietrantonio born, 1963, grew up to the age of nine, even in such a remote village. Today she works as a children’s dentist in the province of Teramo. As in 2017, she received for “L’Arminuta” the prestigious Premio Campiello , they dedicated it stirred Abruzzo, their home, the “a terrible year behind it, the earthquakes, landslides and fires had to endure” .

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Arminuta of Donatella Di Pietrantonio Review. (2019, Nov 18). Retrieved from

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