Told through the eyes of Trina, a broken but resilient mother who writes to her not found daughter, I’m Staying Here tells the little-known story of the town of Curon, in the Italian province of South Tyrol, between Austria and Switzerland, where Nazism and Mussolini’s fascism clash.
Trina graduated from high school in 1923 with plans to teach when Mussolini came to power and banned the use of German as a language of instruction. At the same time, old plans for a destructive dam reappear. Young and brash, Trina buddies around with her friends, pins for an idealistic young farmer named Erich and soon joins an underground network of teachers. She marries Erich and moves into her family’s old farm. In the 1930s, they had two children, Michael and Marica.
Like their families and neighbors, Trina and Erich know only the idyllic mountains and pastures of Curon. But as World War II approaches, the ideologies of Mussolini and Hitler take root in the hearts and minds of the villagers and share neighbors who know each other all their lives. When the war takes Curon’s men, the dam that will devour their city takes shape.
Through Trina’s stubborn and stubborn narrative, Author Marco Balzano expresses the anger of a people whose history has been overshadowed in history. Although some nuances have been lost in the translation from Italian and the tension sometimes changes confusingly, I’m Staying Here reads like a confessional and conveys raw emotions with powerful and memorable effect. For Trina and Erich, the pain of compensating for losses increases, from the passed away of loved ones to the devastating disappearance of their little girl, as they witness the horrors of war and the construction of dams.
Balzano convincingly writes about a woman torn by the sacrifices and suffering she has suffered, but who stubbornly continues. Trina writes to her lost daughter and tries to let go. And as Trina’s mother would say, “All we can do is move forward.”