Across the Big Blue Sea

Across the Big Blue Sea : Good Intentions and Hard Lessons in an Italian Refugee Home

4.11 (63 ratings by Goodreads)
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"Perfectly done, with so much humor and outrage both, Across the Big Blue Sea says more than most anything I've read about the 'refugee crisis' and how the system is set up to fail, even the best-intentioned and most well-meaning (without shying away from the fact that plenty of people involved are neither)." - Lauren Collins, The New Yorker staff writer



Thousands of people risk crossing the treacherous waters of the Mediterranean Sea each year. But what happens if they make it to the other side?



On a hot July day, the Italian coast guard rescues five young Nigerian women in a battered boat. At the same time, Katja Meier is put in charge of a small refugee home in the Tuscan countryside. But a quaint hilltop town with an aged population wasn't exactly where the five young women had hoped to land.



Good intentions quickly get lost in cultural misunderstandings and the shadows of Italy's criminal underworld as an ingenuous improvised social worker confronts hard truths about disorganized charities, insurmountable bureaucracy and prostitution on cypress-lined roads. How can she make a difference when Nigerian girls keep disappearing?



In this searingly honest and thought-provoking memoir, leavened with just enough wry humor, Katja Meier shares the hard lessons she discovered on the steepest of learning curves among Tuscany's seemingly idyllic golden hills.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 290 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 17mm | 372g
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 9791220015936
  • 659,435

Review quote

"Perfectly done, with so much humor and outrage both, Across the Big Blue Sea says more than most anything I've read about the 'refugee crisis' and how the system is set up to fail, even the best-intentioned and most well-meaning (without shying away from the fact that plenty of people involved are neither)." - Lauren Collins, The New Yorker staff writer and author of When in French

"Riveting and funny... an important and illuminating book!" - Angela Ledgerwood, The Lit Up Show, NYC

"A powerful page-turner: engrossing, funny and insightful. A vital read for these times!" - Rachel Roddy, Guardian columnist and author of My Kitchen in Rome

"Across the Big Blue Sea reveals daily truths about the migration emergency and the personal commitment needed today. The memoir helps us understand what's going on and it's impossible to put the book down once you start reading it." Ortensia Visconti
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Rating details

63 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 43% (27)
4 35% (22)
3 14% (9)
2 6% (4)
1 2% (1)
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