“The only mode my thoughts run in, though, is rewind. Never fast-forward and certainly never stopped. Thus the truth is my thoughts and, the facts are my experience, subjective, and still mine.”
Following the plight of a young Italian girl, Weeds Beneath the Open Meadows, is more than just a memoir; this book explores the relationship between the individual and truth, the effect of the past upon the present, and conflicting representations about love.
When Anna and her family leave their homeland due to her father’s nebulous business in the United States, she leaves behind crowns weaved from flowers, handmade dresses, and the ubiquitous poverty of the Italian countryside. Once across the Atlantic, Anna realizes that life in America is about possessions; possessing things as well as memories.
Blurring the line between an older past in the meadows and villages of Sicily, and a newer past in the concrete streets of New Jersey, Weeds Beneath the Open Meadows explores how a young girl learns the ways of America without letting go of Italy.
Blending the imagery of poetry with masterful prose, Weeds Beneath the Open Meadows explores the difficulties of assimilation, the loss of loved ones, and the discovery of the self.
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This memoir paints a vivid picture of a young immigrant girl's life molded by the "boxer" like hands of her omnipotent father. One cannot help but be on the side of the writer - rooting her on towards a life of happiness and fulfillment. Arrigo's writing compels the reader to identify with the myriad of emotions she has towards her parents - feelings that are not so easy to come to terms with but that we experience nonetheless. This memoir is beautifully written and leaves you wanting to read about the next chapter(s) in Anna's life.