Fabio’s Adventures as a Child
by Fabio Dusetti
Diamond Media Press

"Now I had discovered that no one was informed about me having moved from [the] first farm to the one where I was now. It was just like taking a cow to the market. One would take her there, sell her, and no one would ask any questions."

In his memoir, Dusetti documents his childhood from the age of seven to fourteen, a period in his life where he was forced to grow up faster than his years. His story takes place in Italy after World War II and during a food shortage. To make sure that her children were well-fed, his mother often sent him and his siblings to various farms over the years. In doing so, they could earn their own living, and there would be fewer mouths to feed at home. However, being narrated from the point of view of a seven-year-old, this reasoning is understandably lost to his feelings of abandonment. As a result, the reader is left feeling the weight and burden of responsibility placed upon a child. At times, his mother even seems callous whenever he returns to visit.

Dusetti's tale is both candid and poignant. Not only was he sent to live and work with strangers on more than one farm over the years, but it also cost him his education. He mentions that he missed over seventy days of school in one school year, which left him behind in his studies. If that wasn't enough, his dyslexia made school even more difficult for him. The author's journey is intriguing in its contrast to life as a child in the present day. The narrative is heavily focused on all the details of every job he did as a youth and can be repetitive in points, but the story's pace picks up as the book gets closer to the end. Readers are left with a sense of hope for Dusetti when he finally gets out of the endless cycle of work at the age of fourteen and sets out to see what the rest of the world has to offer him.

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