Simeti feels the isolation of being an expatriate and outsider, although she claims to welcome this perspective when faced with frustration and disgust at the pervading political corruption and corrosive effects of the Mafia on everyday life. Despite her natural diffidence, she shares personal insights that makeOn Persephone's Island as compelling as her prose. Simeti intersperses rich helpings of Sicilian history and culture with mundane events and insight into what motivates the peasants essential to the survival of the family farm. And she makes pessimistic observations about the complexity of changing times in a society where the persistent reliance on feudal relationships and agriculture is finally crumbling.
An academic manqué, Simeti researches and ruminates on the mythological underpinnings of the many holidays and festivals that punctuate the rhythm of Sicilian life. She focuses particularly on the Greek goddesses Persephone and Demeter, who held Sicily under their protection. She eventually discovers a correlation between her own situation and the story of Persephone, who alternately inhabited the worlds of light and darkness.
Beautifully written, poetic. Not a page-turner per so, but I read it through steadily on a recent trip to Sicily. If definitely lent richer, deeper meaning to my experiences.Published 1 month ago by B. Pace
Wish she had defined all the Sicilian words immediately after the words. My children will not understand the Sicilian words as they read the book. Read morePublished 3 months ago by DAVID G. ANTHONY
I really enjoyed this book. Written in the early 1980's, I'm glad I first read SEEKING SICILY, a memoir written in 2012 as it put in perspective the earlier influence of the Mafia... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Angelina
Good to get a more or less present day view of my parent's homeland.Published 6 months ago by Cat Maltese
Planned a trip to Sicily after reading this book. Book and trip trulyworthwhilePublished 10 months ago by Monica Martin
I liked Mary Taylor Simeti's writing enough to download another of her books. I read it before and during travel in Sicily. Her descriptions are rich and personal. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Marna Brauner
I was going to Sicily and this book was recommended to me. It far exceeded my expectations--so much so that now that I have spent time in Sicily I want to reread it. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Harriet G. Cramer