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Stories Grandma Never Told: Portuguese Women in California Paperback – Apr 1998

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Paperback, Apr 1998
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Heyday Books (April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890771058
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890771058
  • Product Dimensions: 24.9 x 17.4 x 1.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 503 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,847,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

Hard work, perseverance, and a belief in themselves are the basic ingredients of the remarkable women featured in these insightful and gripping stories of Portuguese women. Sue Fagalde Lick provides us with a solid look at women who will never be forgotten -- Michael McCone, executive director, California Historical Society

From the Back Cover

Nearly one million Portuguese Americans live in California, immigrants or the descendants of immigrants who left poverty behind to seek a better life. Stories Grandma Never Told collects the accounts of the women who settled a foreign land, facing a new language, new customs, and new expectations about their roles as wives, mothers, and workers. Here, too, are the stories of their daughters and granddaughters, and their own struggles to reconcile old-country ways and morality with American lives and identity.

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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed Stories Grandma Never Told on a purely nostalgic level. Each chapter brought back anecdotes that my grandparents and parents told me of their experiences in immigrating to California from the Azores. I was surprised at how similar the book's subject's stories were to those that were told by my grandparents. Above all, I was reminded at how wonderful it is to have a strong cultural identity in one's background.
However, I realized early that the reason I was enjoying this book was because I was supplying much of the emotional energy. I certainly wasn't helped by the writing, which could best be described as pedestrian. The writing was exceptionally lacking in providing each of the interviewed subjects with a distinctive voice, thus making it difficult to distinguish one interviewee from another. Because of the Lick's inability to make any of her sources seem unique, the special qualities of the Portuguese culture also seem indistinguishable from those displayed by other European cultures. As a result, I'm not sure that any non-Portuguese reader of this book would find it interesting or informative.
You should read (and probably own) this book if you are Portuguese. It will bring back many good memories of ancestors, as well as reminders of the struggles they endured in order to be successful in their new home. But, if you're not Portuguese, you will most likely not find anything that distinguishes these stories from those told by the Italians, the Basques, or any other nationality that immigrated to the United States. Consequently, Stories Grandma Never Told has to be considered a missed opportunity in sharing the special qualities that come with being Portuguese.
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Format: Paperback
This book is written in a style that reminds me of a graduate thesis, the subject of course being the Portuguese who immigrated to California. The title is slightly misleading because, while there are a lot of stories, most of it relates to you perspectives from specific women and their experiences as immigrants. It is through these specific women that Lick recaptures what it was like to immigrate from Portugal and the Azores, the traditions, culture, and country they left behind, and what they found once they got here. Being of Portuguese descent, this book was incredibly insightful about what my foremothers went through when they immigrated to America, and what the Azores were (and are) like. It gave me a wonderful perspective on a world I might otherwise have never really known. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9dcf41ec) out of 5 stars 15 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dcfad68) out of 5 stars Informative, funny , touching, and at times, a little sad. June 5 1999
By Baylie336@aol.com (Denise Azevedo) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book for my husbands Portuguese grandmother, who is getting on in years and doesnt read much anymore. She read the entire book in two days! I also looked through the book, and was very impressed with the authors keen insight into the traditional Portuguese ways and customs. I will also purchase another copy for my daughter, so she can learn as much about her Portuguese heritage as possible, when she is old enough to understand it.I would like to instill a sense of pride in my daughters various ethnicities, and this book will be a fun and interesting was for her to learn about the struggles and challenges her grandparents faced as immigrints in earlier times.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dcfadbc) out of 5 stars EXCELLENT....TELLS THE STORY JUST AS I REMEMBER MY ANCESTORS Oct. 11 1999
By LOUISA ALLEN (rca54@cwnet.com) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
tHIS BOOK IS A MUST FOR EVERY PORTUGUESE WOMAN/MAN TO READ. BEING OF PORTUGUESE DESCENT. I REALLY RELATED TO THESE STORIES. BOTH OF MY PARENTS WERE IMMIGRANTS TO THE USA FROM THE AZORE ISLANDS. I TRULY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK OF TO ANYONE WHO IS OF PORTUGUESE HERITAGE..BROUGHT BACK MANY MEMORIES OF MY GRANDPARENTS &PARENTS. EVEN THOUGH I WAS BORN IN THIS COUNTRY, I REMEMBER THE FESTAS, SOPAS, LINGUISA, HOLIDAYS OF THE PORTUGUESE PEOPLE. HOPEFULLY, I HAVE PASSED ON SOMETHING TO MY OWN THREE CHILDREN..
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dcfb210) out of 5 stars Good If You�re Portuguese, Weak If You�re Not Nov. 17 2003
By Michael Lima - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed Stories Grandma Never Told on a purely nostalgic level. Each chapter brought back anecdotes that my grandparents and parents told me of their experiences in immigrating to California from the Azores. I was surprised at how similar the book's subject's stories were to those that were told by my grandparents. Above all, I was reminded at how wonderful it is to have a strong cultural identity in one's background.
However, I realized early that the reason I was enjoying this book was because I was supplying much of the emotional energy. I certainly wasn't helped by the writing, which could best be described as pedestrian. The writing was exceptionally lacking in providing each of the interviewed subjects with a distinctive voice, thus making it difficult to distinguish one interviewee from another. Because of the Lick's inability to make any of her sources seem unique, the special qualities of the Portuguese culture also seem indistinguishable from those displayed by other European cultures. As a result, I'm not sure that any non-Portuguese reader of this book would find it interesting or informative.
You should read (and probably own) this book if you are Portuguese. It will bring back many good memories of ancestors, as well as reminders of the struggles they endured in order to be successful in their new home. But, if you're not Portuguese, you will most likely not find anything that distinguishes these stories from those told by the Italians, the Basques, or any other nationality that immigrated to the United States. Consequently, Stories Grandma Never Told has to be considered a missed opportunity in sharing the special qualities that come with being Portuguese.
HASH(0x9dcfb5d0) out of 5 stars May have to buy a third copy for my daughter! March 9 2015
By K. Hiseley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is the second one I purchased because my Portuguese cousin wanted to have a copy. First time I read the book I immediately recognized traits in my mother's generation ( the first generation born of Portuguese immigrants) and came to understand why I do some of the things I do. It's in my DNA.
HASH(0x9dcfb57c) out of 5 stars My mother loved this book! Feb. 4 2014
By Simarsong - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being of Portuguese descent (although from the Madeira Islands), my mother devoured this book. She's in her 80's and mostly just reads the newspaper, but could not put this book down. She wants me to look for more books like this that bring back her own similar memories.


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