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Acciaio by Silvia Avallone
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Acciaio (2010)

by Silvia Avallone

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English (7)  Italian (7)  Dutch (4)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (23)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Swimming to Elba is the story of Anna and Francesca, two beautiful teenagers living in Piombino, Italy. They are lifelong friends growing up in the miserable surroundings of a desolate city with a failing steel mill. It is here where they dream of someday escaping their depressing lives to swim across the sea to Elba.

Both girls live in tiny apartments of a housing project and their environment is rough. Anna's father is a chronic gambler and rarely makes an appearance at home. Francesca's father beats her regularly. The girls have been close their entire lives until Anna takes up with her brother's older friend Mattia and Francesca is jealous. Francesca then befriends Lisa, a homely classmate most consider an outcast. While the girls are separated tragic events ensue that they are forced to face without the support of each other.

I found this to be a difficult read because of the dismal and gritty subject matter. Adolescent girls flaunting their sexuality and pushed into adult situations is stomach-churning for me. This book is not for the faint of heart. ( )
  missjomarch | Jul 7, 2014 |
Did you ever have an inseparable best friend as a teen, and an insuperable childhood quarrel that almost ruined everything? Or maybe it did and when you think of that friend now you just feel a bottomless sadness and hollowness where that love should be. I have to say, I really loved this book even with all of its darkness and hopelessness. It's the story of a friendship between two girls, Francesca and Anna, two inseparable pretty girls, and the year when everything changed. Everything and nothing. I thought this would be a light beach read but it goes to some dark places very quickly, and the whole story is really colored by tragedy, but it's still beautiful in its way. This is the Italy tourists never see, the Italy of public housing and factories and drugs and strip clubs, but the friendship between the girls is as universal as it is unforgettable.
http://www.bostonbibliophile.com/2013/08/review-swimming-to-elba-by-silvia.html ( )
  bostonbibliophile | Aug 7, 2013 |
Swimming to Elba by Silvia Avallone
ISBN: 9780670023585
Difficult to find translations for the Italian phrases but you can get the gist of what's being said. This takes place in an Italian city. The slums, housing projects and the beach the children swim in is full of sewer. All the people that live there work at the steel mills.
This is a difficult time in the girls lifes as they become teens and adults in the poverty of the Italian community.
Anna and Francesca live in Piombiono, Italy and heading into teenagers who are waiting to experience what life has to offer them.
They like to dance nude in front of the bathroom window where others can watch them. They allow the boys to kiss and feel them. They also like to touch one another and have secret places they go to.
Other boys in the area work at the mill, working with hot iron all day and all night. One day Anna goes with a boy after a roller skating party and lets him do what he wants. She's on birth control now. In the meantime Francesca has been beatten up by her father and her mother won't go to the police.
Anna's mother has filed papers for divorce but now she wants to stop as her husband has returned, paying off the sons car, a big ring and a kitten for the women, which is exactly what they want. His clothes are also very high class.
The girls and their brothers and friends grow from teens to adults over the years as they move through sex, drugs, abuse, death, lying, stealing, etc to get where they need to be.
I found this book hard to read because of the abuse with drugs and sex. ( )
  jbarr5 | Jul 25, 2013 |
This book explores the transition from adolescence to adulthood in a gritty and emotional way. This transition is never easy, but it's especially hard for Anna and Francesca. They live in a poverty stricken town next to a dying steel mill.

In Piombino, drug addiction is prevalent, abuse is frequent, and criminal activity is routine. I don't believe I've ever read about more despondent characters.

This novel nearly suffocated me with it's hopelessness. It made me uncomfortable as well. Reading about these young girls using their sexuality left me feeling squeamish.

And yet...

While Swimming to Elba is far from a cheerful story I found it powerful and important. Anna and Francesca are still on my mind. They won't soon be forgotten. ( )
  JenHartling | Mar 30, 2013 |
En välskriven fascinerande berättelse om några tonårsflickor uppväxt i ett fattigt Italien. Boken skildrar på ett väldigt bra och speciellt sätt tonåringars tankar och känslor. ( )
  Polhemsbibl | Sep 6, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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De beste dingen schitteren van angst - Don DeLillo, Weegschaal
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Voor Eleonora, Erica en Alba mijn beste vriendinnen en voor al diegenen die staal maken
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In de onscherpe cirkels van de lenzen bewoog het figuurtje maar nauwelijks, zonder hoofd.
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In the barracks of Stalingrad street, Piombino, a town in Tuscany, being 14 years is difficult. The two friends, Anna and Francesca are trying to survive physically and psychologically.

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