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Sachbuch / Biographien, Autobiographien
Southampton Summers shares a collection of heartwarming stories with the reader about five generations of an Italian American family who have vacationed near a little beach in eastern Long Island, New York for sixty years. The stories, as told by 14 different family members and one family friend, chronicle the family’s summer vacations beginning with their earliest forays into Southampton from the years following World War II and continuing to the present day.
Written in a friendly, casual style, the book paints colorful portraits of five siblings from the family’s first generation, working class Italian immigrants, who bought wooded lots in 1951 in an undeveloped part of one of America’s toniest vacation towns. A few years later, three of the family’s five siblings managed to cobble together the funds to build small bungalows on their lots with their children, thus setting in motion more than sixty summers of fun-filled family vacations in the Hamptons. The authors’ stories guide the reader from the family’s humble beginnings in an area that resembled total wilderness to the second generation (“The Greatest Generation”) of the family to spend summers at the bungalows. These second generation, born in America vacationers, dutifully maintained the bungalows as a family legacy for the succeeding generations: the third generation, or “baby boomers;” the fourth generation (called Gen-X, Gen-Y, Gen-Z); and the fifth, the un-named generation of youngsters who are great-great grandchildren of the family’s hardy builders.
Southampton Summers shares reminiscences about happy childhoods, about family fun in the sun swimming, fishing and boating. But there’s much more to the stories than mere memories. Delicately woven throughout the stories, the concepts of family bonds, as well as the many rituals, customs and traditions pertaining to both American and Italian cultures, continuously rise to the reader’s attention. These concepts can be easily enjoyed at their literal, superficial level as part of the stories, or in a deeper sense, to awaken in the reader a consideration of his or her own family origins and values. Regardless of the reader’s familiarity with or interest in Italian family traditions, spending time with the three families and their stories of sixty years of Southampton Summers will surely delight and entertain. Plus, it all takes place in a great setting: in the beautiful, historic Hamptons, one of America’s premier vacation destinations.
Cultural, Southampton, Family Vacations, NY, Personal Memoirs, Travel - United States - Northeast (NJ, Ethnic & Regional History-Mid Atlantic, PA), Italian American Families-Biography, (NY Town)-History, Coming of Age Essays