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Dannye Powell_003

Review -Dannye Romine Powell, Reading Matters

Gilda Morina Syverson makes me wish I were Italian.
Oh, those ancient Sicilian villages.
Oh, those fragrant family feasts.
Oh, the way Italians greet their long-lost relatives from the U.S.

Syverson tells a good story – the joy of watching her parents as they visit the old villages – and she may be one of the most obsessively self-reflective writers I’ve ever read.

No surprise that Syverson and her dad come to know each other in a new and more loving way.

Not only are the hills in the villages steep, so is Syverson’s learning curve: “Perhaps by accepting all of who my father is, I can forgive him for not being what I thought he should have been, and in this process, accept the human frailties of my mother and myself.”

I applaud Syverson for opening her heart wide to the reader and saying, Entrate! Entrate!

Read the full review here.

bryce emley

Introduction at Southern Recitations
Bryce Emley, Raleigh Review

When authors write about place, the implication is usually that they’re writing about their relation to the world they inhabit, how their surrounding cities and environments relate to them. You could say much of Gilda Morina Syverson’s work is about place, but in a shifted vein: My Father’s Daughter, From Rome to Sicily is a rumination on how worlds Syverson has inhabited relate her, not just to her.

To read this book is to know that the places we’ve lived, the places we’ve known, the places and people we come from stick with us in ways we don’t always understand. Her work is the stuff of houses and homes and the fixtures they contain, a mapping of experience and how we share it, a way of, as the Syverson herself has put it in her poetry, “seeking our own kind” from wherever we happen to be.

—Bryce Emley, Raleigh Review


“Long after I finished reading this delicious memoir, I could still taste the flavors brought to mind by a story ripe with lush details, bracing wit, and bold pleasures. Embarking on Syverson’s journey is like traveling the world with a treasured friend. This is an experience to be savored.”

~ Amy Rogers, author of Hungry for Home: Stories of Food from Across the Carolinas; publisher, Novello Festival Press

Venera Fazio

“Gilda Morina Syverson reaches for bottom and is richly rewarded with renewed love for her family and Sicily, the island of her ancestry. Her multi-layered memoir, part family history and part travelogue is a compelling read. Syverson’s writes from her heart and her honesty and integrity touched mine.”

~ Venera Fazio, past president, Association of Italian Canadian Writers and co-editor of Sweet Lemons 2:  International Writings with a Sicilian Accent


My Father’s Daughter is a memorable and insightful journey that bridges the past, the present and the future. Going back to the old country with one’s parents – now that’s something many of us dream about or dread . . . or both. Beyond the descriptions of tourist spots, and reconnecting with relatives in hometowns, Gilda Morina Syverson passionately illustrates the beauty and challenges of family.”
~ Licia Canton, Author of Almond Wine and Fertility and editor-in-chief of  Accenti Magazine 

Fred Gardaphé-001

For one generation it’s a return to an earlier home, for another it’s a discovery of a new one. My Father’s Daughter is a meditative travel memoir that speaks to all Baby Boomers in clear voice with new understandings about the past. Syverson takes you on a trip to Italy that renews her sense of self and family–one that creates a longing for more.  There are no easy lessons here and through it all she finds a new self through watching her parents. In the process, she revives a passion for life by making the old country new, and finding a place for her self in it all.”
~ Fred Gardaphé, Distinguished Professor of Italian American Studies,  Queens College/CUNY, author of From Wiseguys to Wise Men

Sharri Whiting De Masi

“Gilda Morina Syverson shares the journey of a lifetime, taking her elderly parents back home to visit Italy after decades in America. Gilda is a brave woman, an admirable daughter, and a very good writer — she recounts the occasional bumps in the road with aplomb and the heartwarming, as well as the frustrating moments with humor. Brava!
~ Sharri Whiting De Masi, writer Olive Oil IQ appItaly correspondent,  Luxury Travel Advisor 


“Here’s what’s in store for you:  A delightful journey into the heart of Italy, into the heart of this family, into the heart of what it means to be human.  My Father’s Daughter is a beautifully crafted, moving, entertaining memoir that will win you over from page one.  If five stars is the highest rating, I give this book six.”

~ Judy Goldman, author of the memoir Losing My Sister


“Gilda Morina Syverson’s beautiful memoir, My Father’s Daughter, From Rome to Sicily, is so rife with Italianate passion and sentiment that I was often spirited away – not just to Rome and Sicily, but to my parents’ kitchen, and the precincts of my past I most cherish. This is a travel book in every sense. Syverson – a savvy, funny, elegant tour guide – expertly escorts us through the gorgeous time-locked terrain of Italy, but also along the often precarious byways of the heart. This book risks everything: its humanity, its courage, its sheer unbridled candor, the moving sweep of its poetic language and its refusal to turn away from the breathtaking mystery of love and ancestry. Bravissimo!”

~ Joseph Bathanti, North Carolina Poet Laureate, 2012-2014, author of Half of  What I Say Is Meaningless, Essays


“Travel south from Rome with Gilda Morina Syverson. Let her show you her ancestral land through the eyes of her closest ancestors, her parents, who travel with her and her husband. It’s a trip well worth taking… vividly observed, richly detailed, gently humorous, and deeply poignant. The only thing better would be a trip to Italy.”
~ William Martin, New York Times Bestselling Author of Cape Cod and The Lincoln Letter

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