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It begins in late autumn 1992 as an elderly Italian woman, prompted by the knowledge of her encroaching death, sits down to write a letter to her granddaughter now grown and living in far-off America. Through these moving reflections, we see one life laid bare--joys, sorrows, regrets, and all. And through the eyes of a woman nearing the end of her days, we come to understand what life experience has taught her: that no matter what the stakes, we must look within ourselves and gather the courage to follow our hearts.
Olga, a grandmother in Italy, writes a series of letters to her granddaughter in America. Olga wants to pass along advice, using her own life of suppressed feelings and desires, of bowing to conventions, and submission to male authority as an example. For, as she has painfully learned, her failure to follow her own heart has claimed more than one victim.
Posted August 8, 2012
This book has been my all-time favorite since I was 13....I could read it a million times and still have the same emotions... as if it were the very first. Wonderful read and a must have for any collection .Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 2, 2005
Posted December 29, 2004
Originally having come across this title at a tiny book fair in the middle of Portugal, as I held it in my hand a complete stranger came to me with tears in her eyes. She placed her hand on mine and I knew this one was going to be a mega hit. When I returned from 'following my own heart' - there was a new found love in my heart for everyone in my life but in particular for my mother and grandmother who was just as soon diagnosed with cancer. Every woman in my family now owns it - in both languages. (My grandmother's copy, complete with her personal messages, has now become a family heirloom.) Three generations of women - the tale pulls and tugs at your heart...wherever it may lead you. Great gift for any important woman in your life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 5, 2004
Posted August 22, 2002
I read this book in French several years ago and for someone like me who's kind of picky in terms of chosing books to read, I absolutely loved reading it all the way. Thanks to my sister who gave it to me.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 6, 1999
I was given this book by my husband in the Spanish Version. As I read the long letter by this dying grandmother and her confessions as to why she had been as she had and her fellings towards all that had surronded her... my heart went out to her... I began to write in the book messages to my husband. I do this in all books that I read now where I spot a message I would like for him to have. I have even warned him of them. One of the things that I wrote in the book is: I started to consider that someday death will reach me. And then what? So many things to say, without having said them. Today I have you my husband, tomorrow we may have a son or daughter. Do I dare to leave without leaving messages in the least expected places? Thus, I now leave to you my evidence of my existence and of the love I have for you and for all of life. And like the grandmother, remember the most intimitate moments. They are yours. In them you shall always have me. You shall never be alone. And that is just one of the things that I wrote in this Spanish version of this book. From then on I have created my own long letter to my love one.... it can be found in all the books that I have read where I have found meaning and realationship to my life. Thus, alive or dead, my love one can always have me with him and hopefully find comfort in the sincerety of my words. From the grandmother I learned the valuable lesson of being ready. Death can come at the most unexpected moment. How unfair of us to leave without leaving something to comfort those that love us. So my way is to leave messages in books. And if it is meant to be, he someday, alone, will find them and will feel the love of my love and have that warmth to cherrish.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.