The novel begins in a magnificent villa in lovely Bay of Naples, Italy. The year is 1905, and little Lucia, along with her mother, go about their days as servants to the gentle Countess. With the irate count, some days are hard to get through, but the Countess never fails to help them out of any situation they get trapped into. Unfortunately, one day no one not even the Countess, were able to avoid this most horrible event. There only lies one simple solution: sneak out of Italy and start a new life in America.
With the help of an old friend, mother and daughter are able to leave and and turn over a new leaf, and start a new life. With her mother working, Lucia finds a passion in school, and all of the places offering new things to learn. Soon after, her mother finds her calling as a singer in a vaudeville circuit as the Naples Nightingale, and Lucia finds herself accomplishing something only eight out of one hundred children do before the age of 18. With the occasional visits to see her mother perform, and the promise of college in sight, Lucia couldn’t see how her life could not go in any other direction than this. Sadly, Lucia’s mother becomes ill which calls for Lucia to drop everything and come home. With the caring for her mother and the ongoing strikes, Lucia’s patience, and the love for her mother is strongly tested.
Swimming in the Moon, written by Pamela Schoenwaldt, covered many different themes. Themes such as immigration, mental-illness, the worker’s rights and their strikes, self-discovery and most importantly of all the endless love between a mother and her daughter. When reading this book, I was instantly reminded of the relationship I had with my late mother. Before she passed away, we were all we had for each other. When one of us were sick, the other would step in to tend to their needs. We never had much, but there was always one thing we did have that couldn’t be bought with money or any riches in the world: our love for each other. When I lost her at the age of 7, a huge piece of my heart left with her.
So knowing the relationship in this story, I was able to relate quite well with the mother and daughter in this novel. I understand the pain and agony Lucia felt knowing that she was losing a part of her mother when the illness overcame her. This novel has taught me that love should never be taken for granted…ever. Instead be used to it’s most fullest potential and worth.
Interested in reading this? You can find it on Amazon in paperback for $4.91 or in Kindle format for free.