In this Powerful Memoir, Florence Calderone Blake relives her childhood of abuse, starvation, and even attempted murder at her mother’s hands. The Sicilian Nobleman’s Daughter is the story of Giovanni Calderone’s family. As a young artilleryman in World War I, Giovanni distinguishes himself for valor and receives from King Victor Emanuel III the noble title of Cavalier. As a member of the richest family in Casteltermini, Italy, Giovanni stands to inherit major holdings in a sulfur mine, gristmill, palaces, and real estate. He weds a beautiful, penniless orphan, Maria, who despises him and his obnoxious kin, but who has no say in the arrangement as one dares not turn down Don Angelo Calderone’s son. As Fascism gains power, Mussolini poises to seize Don Calderone’s possessions. Giovanni’s choice is to join the Fascists or to join their adversaries the Mafia. He chooses neither, but takes his family to America, thereby relinquishing all his financial interests. In America, without English, he can only do menial factory labor. His family goes from riches to rags. His youngest daughter, Florence, strongly resembles her father and thus becomes the target of her mother’s contempt. The girl survives several attempts on her life, rebels against her mother’s tyranny, and finally finds and embraces Christ. Maria contracts a terminal illness. In his perfect timing, God sends a volunteer to invite her to a Billy Graham Crusade in nearby New York City. After Maria’s death, Giovanni reveals astonishing secrets Florence has long suspected. Florence Calderone Blake, Giovanni’s youngest daughter, teaches writing courses part-time in Southern Oregon’s Rogue Community College. A part-time reporter for Oregon’s upper Rogue Independent, she’s also had over 750 articles in national publications including Guideposts Books, Boston Globe, and Mature Living.
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