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Take Me with Youby Carolyn Marsden
Synopses & Reviews
Hopes of adoption test the friendship of two girls — one biracial — in a lyrical novel touching on themes of identity and the meaning of home.
Pina and Susanna. Susanna and Pina. For as long as theyve lived at the Istituto di Gesù Bambino — a home for babies abandoned after the War — they have been best friends. As children, they played rag dolls under the watchful eyes of the nuns and hide-and-seek among the lemon trees on the rooftop terrazzo overlooking Naples. But now strangers are coming to the chiesa, couples hoping to adopt children. Susanna thinks Pina — pale, pretty Pina with her gleaming yellow braid — will be adopted at once. Susanna, on the other hand, is a mulatta. Her father was an American soldier, a nero. No Italian has hair or skin like hers. But when a surprise visitor comes to the istituto just to see Susanna, will the friends be separated after all? Or will a miracle make both of their dreams come true?
"Marsden (The Gold-Threaded Dress) again deftly weaves a multicultural thread into her fiction. A decade after the end of WWII, best friends Susanna and Pina are being raised by nuns in a Naples home for girls who were abandoned as babies. Convinced that their parents must be dead since they haven't come for them, the girls long to be adopted, but prospective parents haven't selected either of them. Golden-haired Pina thinks her mischievous behavior is the problem, while Susanna believes her dark skin is to blame. Though each discovers she has a birth parent alive, the author realistically steers clear of a pat, feel-good resolution. After a letter arrives from her father, an American sailor who's on a tour of duty, Susanna plaintively wonders, 'Why would a father not drop everything to hurry to his daughter?' Pina holds out hope when she learns that her mother lives nearby yet can't care for her and has withheld permission for her daughter to be adopted ('I belong to someone. Someday my mother will come'). It's a poignant novel, enriched by expressive writing and credible characters. Ages 10 — up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Set in Naples, Italy, following World War II, this lyrical novel follows the friendship of two orphaned girls--one biracial--and touches on themes of identity and the meaning of home.176 pp.
About the Author
Carolyn Marsden is the acclaimed author of many novels for young readers. She has a master of fine arts in writing for children from Vermont College and lives in La Jolla, California.
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