Review Blog

Sep 18 2020

Tribal Lores by Archimede Fusillo

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Walker Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781760651954.
(Age: 14+) Recommended. This story is set in Australia, with a family of Italian immigrants living in the suburbs of the city, the father a butcher and the mother running the home, while helping her husband and caring for family. Archimede Fusillo has constructed a riveting tale of the challenges that face migrants in their new country, from the social mores, to the changing of the old rules to those of the new country, focusing on those that challenge the parents in this new country. The novel feels so real, Fusillo having constructed this evocative narrative with an authenticity that is rivetting.
We read how the children of migrants must learn to cope with school, socializing and learning the ways of the new country while living very much by the rules of the old at home. This nexus of worlds is at the heart of the divide that they face daily, as the new world intrudes on the old ways, and the parents and children have to adjust to their roles in this new place. Told with heart, this narrative brings to light both the extreme challenges and the daily adjustments, exploring how these differ for parents and children.
The old ways, however, dominate at home for the young people, and Fusillo focuses on how they face the challenge of fitting in to the new world while following the norms of their families. In fact, this seems an impossible challenge. We feel every emotion with the characters, so vivid is this tale, and we are torn by their emotional responses, as Fusillo's beautiful and powerful tale unfolds. This is a story appropriate for both adults and younger adolescents. Book Club notes are available.
Elizabeth Bondar

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