I Remember the Risorgimento
by Honor Mamath

"Citizens like me want to have a Republic of Italy and choose our own leader."

In the mid-1840s, Italy is a country on the verge of conflict. The country is divided among various colonizers and factions. In 1848, a revolution will be waged in order to wrest control from Austria. Giuseppe Garibaldi emerges as the charismatic leader of the rebellion. Jessie White is a headstrong and smart young woman attending the Birmington Academy when she meets Garibaldi. Jessie takes note of the rapidly changing times across Europe that are moving toward class warfare between the nobility and the commoners. Jessie possesses more of a liberal bent and identifies with the revolutionaries. As the years progress, Jessie emerges as a writer chronicling the revolution and continues to encounter Garibaldi. As the tide turns in the conflict, Jessie becomes less of a spectator and more of a player in the reunification of Italy.

Mamath’s book credibly examines the rapidly changing climate of Italy through the eyes of Jessie. Garibaldi enters the book as a larger-than-life figure, the awe of the audience captured through the perspective of Jessie. The author accurately portrays the perceptible suspense of the times, as Jessie evolves from reporter to caregiver during the wars, her rising profile leaving her in danger of capture and imprisonment. The romantic notions of the revolution are paralleled with the feelings Jessie has for Garibaldi and eventually for Alberto Mario. The bullets fly, bodies fall, and battle lines shift, but the intensity of the story never wavers. This is a book that will strike a chord with lovers of history, Italy, and the romantic spirit of revolution.

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