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The Strega and the Dreamer [Kindle Edition]

Theresa C. Dintino
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Paperback $13.77  
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Book Description

The Strega and the Dreamer is the story of a man who is willing to sacrifice everything for a dream, and a passionate woman questioning the confining roles allowed to 19th century women.

Eva is an Italian Strega, a midwife and healer, fully committed to her small hilltop village. Marcello is a man with a dream of America—a dream that Eva does not share. Famine comes to the Abruzzi. Marcello goes to America, leaving his family behind as he searches for a more prosperous life. During their six-year separation, Eva dedicates herself to her Strega duties and the people of the village. Though it is taboo for a woman to do so, with the help of a doctor from the city she secretly learns of modern medicine. When Marcello finally calls for her, Eva has a decision to make. She must choose between staying in her beloved village where she has her family and her Strega calling, or moving to America, where midwifery is considered barbaric and is being systematically eliminated.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Theresa C. Dintino is the author of Stories They Told Me, a novel of Shamanism and Goddess Spirituality set in Minoan Crete and Ode to Minoa, the odyssey of a Snake Priestess in Bronze Age Crete. Her great-grandmother was a Strega. This book is based on the true story of her great-grandparents.

Product Details

  • File Size: 657 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1470008270
  • Publisher: Theresa C.Dintino; 1 edition (September 2, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0095JXCD4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #311,204 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Theresa Dintino eloquently tells the story of her great-grandparents' lives in Italy and in America. It's a poignant saga interweaving all the themes that make novels great: love, hate, death, birth, romance, marriage, family, fear, betrayal, revenge, forgiveness, and loss. What captivated me the most was Dintino's descriptions of the challenging lives of these heroes, that are all-too-often disparagingly called immigrants. Their personal sacrifice was nothing short of awe-inspiring. I read the book twice, Dintino's storytelling was so compelling. Eva and Marcello are the protagonists, but this novel is large in its scope. Intertwined within the story is what happened to midwives and traditional healing techniques at the turn of the last century. It would make a fantastic movie or TV series since there are many intriguing ancillary characters. Reading this beautifully written book will restore your faith in how goodness and kindness must always triumph in the end.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I love this book. As I finished reading it, my tears were flowing... In "The Strega and the Dreamer," Theresa Dintino has raised a deeply nuanced and complex set of powerful and poignant issues. Also, the structure of the book is very effective: As she weaves the shuttle of the story back and forth--both in time and between two continents--the increasingly vital background information keeps deepening our knowledge of who these characters truly are. Especially during the beginning years chronically the initial separation, I love the way she moves back and forth between Eva and Marcello; giving both of their viewpoints and their emotional investments in their separate decisions; delineating their individual motivations as well as their mutual love; showing that no one is "the villain" in this story... I deeply appreciate the way she portrays both her female and male characters and the partnership-based relationships between men and women. I love Leon! and, of course, Marcello--his father's son, for sure...

The book just keeps getting better and a fan unfolding and bringing in more and more pivotal insights. And the ending--though bittersweet--is one that provides unmistakable hope for the future. (Like the brambles that were cut back for the railroad: growing back again, producing their succulent berries...) Indeed, the resurgence of midwifery and home birthing with the feminist movement in the late 20th century bears this out. Not to mention the re-emergence of Wicca and paganism! I'm sure Dintino's great-grandmother is very proud of her for picking up the Strega torch again in new/old ways. These ancient traditions can never die...they just go to Mother Earth and lie dormant for awhile--until the seeds can sprout and flower once again...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey into the Past July 12, 2012
By Laura
The Strega and the Dreamer by Theresa Dintino brings you along on a journey to the new world and all of its challenges. With one foot in two different worlds, the characters in this book deal with the complexities of immigrating to a new world and a completely different culture. Read this book, you will enjoy the journey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read May 9, 2013
By nwl
Format:Kindle Edition
The Strega and the Dreamer is a thoughtful story with likable characters who dealt with issues of racism against immigrants, women's rights, and superstitions in medicine and religion. The story follows an Italian midwife as she tries to support her family after her husband has gone ahead of her to make a home for them in America in the late 1800's and then their trials as their family adapts to the "scientific", Puritan-Protestant America. This story captivated me with the characters' hope, love, and determination to make a better life for themselves and the world around them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Multi-layered Pleasure to Read December 18, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved this story for many reasons and here are four of them 1) The way that Dintino imagines the life and practices of a strega (witch/healer) in rural Italy as part of an ancient Dianic tradition--I can still picture Eva praying in the grotto and gathering herbs in the countryside with her strega mentor Giuliana 2) The vivid portrayal of how differently an Italian male laboror and his healer wife experience immigration to America and how that affects their marriage. 3) Dintino's fascinating insight into the historical moment when the "male" profession of doctor began to dominate and extirpate the "female" profession of midwife/healer, including how Eva herself is caught between the opposing paradigms of traditional peasant healing and modern medicine 4) Eating the Mountain! I have a mountain behind my house and I have established a new meditation practice ever since I read about Eva's "eating" Mount Monadnock.

This book fed me on so many different levels- intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally. It is a work of anthropology, history, and gender studies wrapped up in an absorbing novel about life and love.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Strega and the Dreamer May 25, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Initially, I felt if I was wading through this story. Found it difficult to pick back up once I laid it down. However, once the family reunited, I sailed through the remainder of the book and was glad I had read it.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the story of a woman (the Strega) and her husband (the dreamer) as they leave Italy in the end of the 19th century and try to make a better life in America. Yes, a lot of stories have been written about Italian immigration. Even though you may have read other similar themed books, I urge you to give this book a chance.

I found this book to be a wonderful expose' on the emotions of a husband and wife as they separately make this transition. I enjoyed how the husband made the trip to America and underwent difficulties in earning and saving enough money to send for his wife and child. However, the strength of this book is the Strega which I had no real knowledge. She is the true star of the book as we learn about her life to become a Strega (a cross between a midwife and a nurse practitioner). We watch her, through flashbacks, go through the training to accept a special calling to her trade. We then watch her life over eight years as she waits for her husband to call her to America.

The lives of each are very well conveyed by the author. I enjoyed this book very much but felt some parts were a bit overwritten. The ending was a bit abrupt and left a few sub items unresolved. Overall, a very good chick lit book for everyone.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the book and found it to be an excellent ...
I enjoyed the book and found it to be an excellent read. For me I believe it's important to understand the hardship that immigrants had when they left their home and immigrated... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Rose Cuoppolo
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done
I found this novel to be well researched and very informative. The mingling of two cultures and the benefits and problems encountered were thought provoking.
Published 11 months ago by Jordy Sayer
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreams Can Come Rrue
This is a great book and story. You immediately fall in live with the characters and can feel their despair. All through the book you wonder if it will all work out. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Linda
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, wonderful book!
I am a big fan of midwifery and this book was so enlightening with the Italian history of the strega. Read more
Published 13 months ago by D. Cressy
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and enlightening - a wonderful book!
The Strega and the Dreamer is a favorite among all of my recent reads. The character development is wonderful, pulling you in so you are invested in their story and the outcome. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Gayle T
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it!
What a great story. Other reviewers have already related much of what the story is about. I just wanted to add my appreciation so you wont miss out on this exceptional experience.
Published 21 months ago by ALLONE
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece
I come from a Strega background through my Mother's ancestors. Although I didn't know all the many mysteries
and invaluable services these Women did for their communities,... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Rev. Donna M. Swindells
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Book
I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. It is well-written, with good character development, and a great story. I didn't want it to end!
Published 22 months ago by Lynsig
3.0 out of 5 stars Strega
Although the time jumping made the story a little confusing, and it ended rather abruptly, the character development was interesting.
Published 23 months ago by Sgv
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfull Journey
Well written, good character development--memorable characters. Sometimes I was a little confused going back and forth in time but in the end I managed to under stand that it... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Ginali
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More About the Author

Theresa C. Dintino is an ancestral Strega (Italian wise woman), earth worker, and initiated diviner. For more than 20 years Theresa has studied and practiced an earth-based spirituality. In 2011, she was initiated as a diviner in a West African tradition. She currently helps others reclaim their personal lineages through her divination work.
Theresa is the author of The Strega and the Dreamer, a work of historical fiction based in the true story of her great grandparents, and Ode to Minoa and Stories They Told Me, two novels exploring the life of a snake priestess in Bronze Age Crete. For more on Theresa or her work, visit and

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