Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Book Review: "From Italy to America with Love" by Mina Greco Hall and John R. Hall

Mina Greco Hall and John R. Hall, Ph.D. will be signing books on Friday Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 5132 W. Saginaw (Lansing Mall), Lansing.
"From Italy to America with Love" by local authors Mina Greco Hall and John R. Hall Ph.D. (Xlibris, $19.99) is an intriguing self-published autobiography.
The attractively designed book focuses on the life and unusual experiences of a highly talented, award-winning artist who has faced a variety of challenging situations.
Mina grew up in war-torn Italy during World War II, with her parents and siblings surviving bombings and a naval torpedo attack at Taranto.
She suffered through devastation and death, disasters and rationing; the family moved to to another smaller town for safety.
As a budding artist, Mina had numerous interesting learning experiences; she also had a strange, unsettling, exasperating relationship with a boyfriend named Fabio, which lasted for decades.
Mina discloses some spooky situations that took place in a local cemetery, enough to make almost anyone wonder about the afterlife.
Soon, she moved to Milan, expanding her artistic endeavors. Her parents shortly followed, getting into the flower business.
Mina and Fabio parted ways, but soon Fabio got married. His later separation and persistence caused Mina more emotional duress.
Eventually Mina joined other family members in relocating to America in 1962; initially, she notes "Lansing seemed to be a village compared to the metropolis they had left."
In addition to learning a new language, (complete with assorted odd idioms) she also had to get used to the area's geographical layout and different weather.
She became involved with the local art scene, joining the Lansing Art Guild and the Lansing Art Gallery. She details the unusual way that she met her husband, who was then a student at Michigan State University.
The rest of the book explores her marriage, her love of America and her appreciation of her Italian heritage. She relates a wide assortment of artistic experiences, adding many touches of humor.
Mina Greco Hall has exhibited her artwork in several Italian cities as well as the Louvre in Paris. She paints abstracts as well as realistic styles and teaches in her Lansing studio.
In 2011, her painting Enigma won first prize in the People's Choice competition sponsored by the Lansing Art Gallery.
Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing's Curious Book Shop, 
has reviewed Michigan books and crime novels regularly since 1987.

This review was originally published by 
the Lansing State Journal on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012.

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