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Mamma – my Real-life Heroine

I’ve always wanted to write; I dabbled in short stories as a youngster. Only as an adult did I find a true heroine that made writing easy. I found my muse when my mother, Maria Piergiovanni née Martore come to visit me in Australia in 2012 and started to reminisce.

Perhaps naively, I forged ahead with only Mamma’s perspective of Italian life during and after World War 2. Life however involves other people; the way we interact with them and how they react to us. That is what is intriguing and makes for a story. How could I not recount my father’s experiences during this same period when he was such an integral part of her life?

Me and my lovely mamma Maria Piergiovanni (nee Martore)

When I commenced writing GOODBYE to Italia, I’d set out with the intention of focusing on my mother. She’s always been a strong and consistent influence in the lives of her three daughters of whom I’m the middle child. She also attracts people to her as she has a genuine, generous and lively personality further enhanced by beauty. Yet despite this, my father when alive, always seemed to take centre stage. His charismatic and larger than life attitude appeared to overshadow my mother. Thirteen years older than her he had certainly lived and seen much more.

At least, growing up that is how I perceived things. So, I wanted to use the recounting of my parents’ coming of age and courtship during and after World War 2, as an opportunity to shine the light on Mamma. Only through this writing journey have I come closer to the truth. In Mamma’s own words, without my father, her life would not have been one of such adventure, love and laughter. Of course, her experiences growing up would still have been noteworthy but it’s the connection with the Piergiovannis, and my parents’ courtship that lifts this to another level.

I’m certain Freud would have much to say about how I perceived my parents and their relationship. Despite this, I’m thankful to both for having lived such extraordinary lives. Because of them, I’ve been able to realise a dream of writing a book of which I’m proud. And now that I’ve published one, my creative instincts have been empowered!

Marisa Parker - Author


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