My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A thoroughly enjoyable memoir, written in honour of the author’s grandfather (Annibale Boccabella, also known as Joe) who migrated from Italy to Australia in 1939 at the age of 15. At the time, integration into this country was not easy, due to the onset of war and severe restrictions imposed on ‘enemy aliens’ by the Australian government. The book covers not only the life and times of Annibale and his family, but also the war and post-war eras in Brisbane and the Granite Belt to the west. In every part of the book, the author’s extensive research is in evidence. Yet she has successfully incorporated her findings into a story, showing rather than telling. Only on one or two brief occasions does the narrative become slightly contrived or slip into self indulgence. Highly recommended for anyone with a migrant background and an interest in wartime Australia.