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The Italian Girl  - Rebecca Huntley


Published: 26th April 2012
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RRP $29.95

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Published: 1st August 2012
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A true story of love, loss and mothers and daughters across generations.

In 2001 Rebecca Huntley's maternal grandmother – her Italian nonna – died. This sparked a decade-long search for the 'truth' about her grandmother's life, and the lives of the men and women in her family from Innisfail, Northern Queensland, during the hard times of World War II.

The nonna Rebecca knew was a kind-hearted and quiet individual. Short and slight, she was a wonderful cook who embroidered every day of her life. Rebecca loved her dearly but saw her as a conservative, pliant and generally uninteresting Italian woman. After her death, however, incredible stories of her nonna as a young woman surfaced and Rebecca realised that she didn't know her at all. Learning more about nonna stirred up old ghosts in Rebecca's relationship with her mother (who had always been ambivalent about their Italian heritage), and challenged Rebecca's own sense of self as she, pregnant with her first child, had to wonder what it really means to be a mother. With evocative stories and tender honesty, Rebecca takes us on this significant search.

About the Author

Dr Rebecca Huntley is a researcher and author, and a Director of Ipsos Mackay research. She has written two books, The World According to Y: Inside the New Adult Generation and Eating Between the Lines: Food and Equality in Australia, contributes regularly to print and online publications, is a feature writer for Australian Vogue, and is a sought-after social commentator, appearing on TV programs such as Q&A. Huntley is married with a young daughter and lives in Sydney.



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The Italian Girl

(based on 1 review)

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Reviewed by 1 customer

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A nostalgic look back...


from Brisbane, Qld

About Me Everyday Reader

Verified Buyer


  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Easy To Understand
  • Inspirational


    Best Uses

    • Gift
    • Older Readers
    • Travel Reading

    Comments about The Italian Girl:

    I loved this book because it almost paralleled my life. I also grew up in Innisfail, North Queensland, in an Italian family and I could associate with this book. A really great read on growing up in a small sugar cane town.

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    "An exquisitely told family history." --"Chronicle" (Australia)

    'Australia'p. ix
    Family treep. xii
    Map of Innisfailp. xiii
    Prologuep. 1
    p. 5
    The Train Northp. 7
    A Migrant Townp. 21
    Rite of Passagep. 39
    A Different Lightp. 53
    p. 61
    Uncoveringp. 63
    Time Outp. 81
    Returning Northp. 93
    A Family Affairp. 113
    Preserving the Truthp. 127
    p. 141
    Dividing Linesp. 143
    Recording Historyp. 157
    Camps Dividedp. 171
    Luigi's Releasep. 183
    A Bribe for a Groomp. 193
    p. 203
    Dreams and Ghostsp. 205
    The Left-hand Curvep. 227
    Epiloguep. 241
    Acknowledgementsp. 247
    Further Readingp. 249
    Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

    ISBN: 9780702239182
    ISBN-10: 0702239186
    Audience: General
    Format: Paperback
    Language: English
    Number Of Pages: 258
    Published: 26th April 2012
    Publisher: University of Queensland Press
    Country of Publication: AU
    Dimensions (cm): 22.7 x 15.4  x 2.0
    Weight (kg): 0.37
    Edition Number: 1