Rosina, the Midwife

Rosina, the Midwife

Book - 2013
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Between 1870 and 1970, 26 million Italians left their homeland and travelled to places like Canada, Australia and the United States in search of work. Many of them never returned to Italy. Against this historic backdrop comes the story of Rosina, a Calabrian matriarch, who worked as a midwife in an area where only one doctor served three villages. She was also the only member of the Russo family to remain in Italy after the mass migration of the 1950s. Written by Rosina's great-great-grand-daughter, this is a charming memoir that is at once a Canadian story and an Italian one. Through Kluthe's meticulous research and great insight, we see her great-grandfather Generoso labouring through the harsh Edmonton winter in order to buy passage to Canada for his wife and children; we glimpse her grandmother Rose huddled in a third-class cabin, sick from the motion of the boat; and we watch, teary-eyed, as her great-great-grandmother Rosina is forced to say goodbye, one by one, to the people she loves.
Publisher: [Victoria, B.C.] : Brindle & Glass Pub., [2013]
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9781927366110
Branch Call Number: 618.2092 RUS KLU
Characteristics: 208 pages :,map, portrait ;,18 cm


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Jan 01, 2020

I read this for the "An Author Local To You" part of my 2020 reading challenge. The timelines flipping back & forth confused me a little, otherwise it was an interesting story of a woman's Italian heritage and their life in Edmonton and Calabria.

Jul 26, 2013

Jessica Kluthe reaches a hand - at first tentative and trembling - across oceans and generations from her life in Canada to that of her ancestors in Italy in her captivating family memoir, Rosina, the Midwife. Those ancestors were part of a 26 million strong exodus of Italians from 1870 to 1970, departing Italy for other parts of Europe and further afield, to North America. Kluthe’s particular focus, however, is the stalwart and enigmatic figure of a family member who chose to stay behind: her great-great-grandmother, Rosina, respected matriarch and, as a practicing midwife, essential keeper of community tradition, secrets and life. Kluthe’s passion for the intricacies of heritage and the enduring love of family and how they inform both social fabric and individuals make Rosina an absorbing read. Kluthe’s pursuit of answers, interwoven with her own life’s joys and sorrows, rounds out the emotional satisfaction quotient of the book, making Rosina a “can’t put down” book for any season.

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