A captivating true story that will speak to generations of Australians, from the author of Mezza Italiana.
'Nonno Anni gives me a nudge. "You know, when I first came to Australia, I knew that my life would change forever."'
Leaving the small village of Fossa in Italy in 1939 to meet a father he barely remembered in a place that was far from everything he knew, fifteen-year-old Annibale Boccabella arrived in Australia determined to make a go of it. It was a time when everything was changing and anything seemed possible. Life was tough but you could still chase your dreams.
More than 70 years later, in 2011, Zoe Boccabella and her family hurriedly try to save the treasured belongings of Annibale and his wife Francesca-Zoe's grandparents-from the rising waters of the Brisbane River. When Zoe sees the sign from their old fruit shop and milk bar about to disappear beneath the floodwater, this triggers in her a realisation that while she has long looked to Italy to discover her migrant heritage, much of it happened here in Australia.
In Joe's Fruit Shop and Milk Bar, Zoe artfully weaves her own experiences with those of her grandparents, taking us on a journey from Abruzzo and Calabria in Italy to Australian sugar cane fields, internment camps, Greek cafes, and the fruit shop and milk bar that was the focus of a family's hopes and dreams for the future.
With memorable, beautifully portrayed characters, evocative writing and a sweeping tale that reflects the experience of so many Australians, this is a story that will touch your heart and remind you of the important things in life.
Praise for Zoe Boccabella's Mezza Italiana
'A charming and thoughtful writer' Frances Mayes
'there is much to love about this book. the wonderful characters, her fabulous Italian grandfather who takes his love for all Italian traditions to Brisbane ... her boyfriend who becomes the poster boy for all things Italian, and the people of Fossa, a village tucked away in the mountains of Abruzzo... I can highly recommend Mezza Italiana on a cold day when you are dreaming of Italy... ' Carla Coulson
'this is one of those books that come along every so often that resonates with so many. Whether you have a migrant background or just love reading about Italy, this is a book with heart and soul, humour and sincerity. A wonderful read.' Cate, ABC Shops website
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