Saturday, May 16, 2009
It Happened In Italy by Elizabeth Bettina: My Review
It Happened in Italy is a wonderful story but a very mediocre book. The author, Elizabeth Bettina, an American of Italian descent learns that Italian Jews were interned in her ancestral town during WWII. What's more, she learned that, other than the lack of freedom, life in that camp, and other Italian concentration camps, wasn't that bad. In short, while the Jews were confined, they were not mistreated until Mussolini fell and the Nazi's started deporting the Italian Jews. Even then, they were not as successful as they might have been because the Italians did not cooperate.
I'm glad this story is being told; however as a book, It Happened in Italy has its faults. Bettina spends a lot of time talking about the logistics of a trip to Italy and bragging that she managed to get appointments with people it is usually difficult to see. She tells the stories of the survivors, but after the first few they start to sound the same. In short, she used 300 pages to tell a story that could have been told well in 200.
I'd like to thank the Thomas Nelson Publishers for this book. You can read more about it on their product page.