Personal site for Rosemary Neri Villanella, author of the book Duck & Cover: A Memoir of My 1960s Brooklyn
What a journey I went down with this read. And oh, how I connected to this author with memories of my childhood ....from Kate Smith to my family’s summer house rental to sharing the experience of getting stung by a dragonfly and MY DAD removing the stinger. Rosemary’s vivid description of eating lemon ice is so exact and the author & I share similar childhood memories, as my Dad spoke to me in Donald Duck talk, and my Dad and I loved Alfred Hitch, and of course, Psycho. What an amazingly beautiful trip down Memory Lane. Thank you, RNV!! Cant wait for a sequel?
Duck and Cover took me on a delightful trip down memory lane - Spalding, lemon ice, junior high bullying and more. Rosemary Neri Villanella’s account of her experiences growing up in Brooklyn NY in the 1960s was both familiar and delightful to read. She eloquently captured the moments of laughter and tears, doubt and resolution that are shared by all as we journey from childhood to adulthood. This is a good read for sure.
When I first saw this book I was interested in reading it as I, too grew up in Brooklyn in the 50’s and 60’s. In the past I have read books by authors in other parts of the very varied borough of Brooklyn. However, when I started reading this one, I immediately discovered that she grew up in my own neighborhood of Gravesend ... just a few blocks from where I did - and where I moved back to when I got married. It was so much fun reading about places and locations that I knew intimately and very well might have passed her often on the streets. Yet, while we shared a neighborhood and many experiences, her life and mine differed in many ways. Truly an excellent account of growing up in our neighborhood.
A fun and easy read with a story that flows from the heart! It’s a pleasure to read an author who doesn’t waste time with stilted prose but is primarily interested in getting her entertaining story “out there”. As a product of parents, aunts and uncles whom [sic] experienced the same Brooklyn growing up, it has been a real pleasure to read this authors work. I have always admired the traditions of families that originated in Italy so i emjoyed experiencing them again through the eyes of the author.
Rosemary Neri Villanella manages to capture both the memorably specific details of a 1960s Brooklyn childhood—the delectable ‘lemon ices’ of summer, the architecturally stunning movie theaters patrons enjoyed before the multiplex era—and the universal themes of a young girl navigating from adolescence into young womanhood. With humor and insight, Rosemary details experiences many readers will instantly recognize from their own young lives, whether they relate to challenging family relationships or the unquenchable appreciation of particular loved ones. . If you’re from Brooklyn, if you recall the perils of growing up, if you’re a Baby Boomer of any background...you will appreciate this book.
I was moved by this memoir, even though I didn’t grow up in Brooklyn. I was impressed by the insight and honest writing about the same era in which I grew up. Most of all, I loved the way the author portrays herself and her family in such a truthful light, even down to her relationship with her mother. Since I grew up in an Italian-American family, as well, I could relate to much of her life. I also loved the references to the wonderful, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, to give an even deeper meaning to her story.
This was a very enjoyable read. I was not alive during the 1960’s, but I loved reading about what it was like growing up in Brooklyn during this time. This book is very well written and easy to read. I was lucky enough to meet Mrs. Villanella recently, and it was a pleasure to talk to her. It was an even greater pleasure to read about the stories from her childhood. I could picture myself riding the bus along with her, her mother, and her sister to Manhattan Beach in the summer. It makes me wish I really could have been there. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful stories!
This book is a wonderful read! Having grown up in Brooklyn myself, Ms. Villanella succeeded in filling my mind with sweet memories of growing up in a less complicated time. While reminding us of the trials of adolescence she puts a funny spin on life’s lessons by coloring the background with her Italian-American heritage...a heritage of which she is clearly proud! This book makes me want to reach back into my own memory and happily recall the sandy bottomed bathing suit, the fireflies in the jar, and evenings on the “stoop”!
Received the book as a gift. I expected it to be just another memoirs. It’s not. It’s a wonderful story that’s easy to read. You won’t be disappointed.