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.
Planned a trip to Sicily after reading this book. Book and trip trulyworthwhilePublished 3 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 4 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 5 months ago by Harriet G. Cramer
As a American-Sicilian I was excited to "see" through Ms. Simeti's eyes. She represented both the good and bad of Sicily and the diverse people who populate that little... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Maria A. Cosenza
The author paints a lovely portrait of what life is like for an American expatriate- who is also wife and mother- in Sicily. Read morePublished 11 months ago by pittielove
Sicily from the insider, opening the culture of her period against eons of history and deep knowledge and love of festivals, flora and fauna -- not to mention family. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Heidi
I followed Mary's life and endeeping observations until I felt a true kinship to her and the world she entered and never leftPublished 15 months ago by W in New York City