Even as generations pass, the pride of their culture is in the genes of those who were raised in Italian immigrant families. Caruso’s Journey Without A Map appropriately begins with pasta cooking instructions, and from there the aroma of tomatoes, olives and red wine are never far from the stories she weaves of herself and the impact of her family. Whether making connections between her Uncle Nick’s nose and her Roman ancestors, or detailing the daily rituals of her shepherdess mother on the Italian hillsides, Caruso relays the information in broad colourful strokes that are at once both inviting and humorous. With her earliest recollections of her family life in New Jersey, her father’s grocery store, her mother’s Catholic admonishments, the death of Santa Clause, the family habits and the ever-present smells from the kitchen brings to us her sense of belonging to a rich heritage.
Winner of the 2008 Saskatchewan Book Award for Non-Fiction