‘Joe’s Fruit Shop and Milk Bar’ by Zoe Boccabella

Joe's Fruit Shop & Milk BarJoe’s Fruit Shop & Milk Bar by Zoe Boccabella

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.

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About Debbie Terranova

Debbie Terranova is an Australian author of contemporary and historical fiction. 'The Scarlet Key' published in 2016 is the second Seth VerBeek mystery. The crime-busting reporter is back with a new cast of unforgettable characters and a new puzzle to solve. It's about live, love, death, and tattoos, with a touch of the mystical. 'Baby Farm', her debut novel, is a cozy crime mystery about forced adoptions of the 1970s, and a surrogacy and baby trafficking racket. It is the first of the Seth VerBeek series. Debbie Terranova is a prizewinning author of short stories: 'Mowbray Brothers' about growing up in East Brisbane in the 1920s; and 'Mischief' about reinventing yourself and in the process falling in love ... with an adorable but mischievous cat.
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