CHILD ACROSS THE RIVER by Giulietta d'Allesandro


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November, 1943 to February, 1944 encloses the record of a mother determined to reach her daughter, through battle lines, from Rome to Ariano Irpino in southern Italy, and gives an almost daily accounting of the hazards -- and help -- she encounters. Beginning by train, then taking to foot, she escapes patrols, crosses mountains, and comes to rest in the little village of Ventosa, from which the ebb and flow of activity at Cassino can be watched. And at Ventosa is the daily round of German patrol, refugees hiding and existing, the villagers avoiding conflict but making their own reprisals against Nazi surveillance, and the disaster of attempts to cross over to Allied areas. Full of alarms -- and more than one excursion -- this loses its impetus in its perfervid emotionalism but it does give a sense of village life victimized by war, of a will for survival. Translated from the Italian by Martha Bacon, this might, however on that same emotional appeal, win an audience.

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 1958
Publisher: McDowell, Obolensky