The Best People In The World!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

When We Were Strangers - Giveaway and Review

We know that at some points in our lives our families have migrated to different areas of the country in search of a better life. Too often we fail to see just how wonderful those difficult decisions were to make and the consequences that resulted along the way. Until now!

When We Were Strangers is the newest novel by Pamela Schoenewaldt, that takes the reader on the journey in the life of one such remarkable lady, Irma Vitale, who we find living in Italy in a small part of town called Opi. It doesn't have the best reputation and the only hope Irma has of making her life better is marriage to a man who doesn't drink and works hard. Unfortunately the prospects for this are worse at best. There are only 5 men in the village and two of them are promised to the baker's family leaving the worst available.

Yet time and time again Irma has been living in the lies of low self esteem, when people call her ugly and spread rumors about the girls from Opi being street whores, not of which is true but growing up in the sheltered mountain town makes them more believable. Only when her cousin Carlo leaves for America and the promise of something better, is Irma willing to look outside her small town and hope for something more.

This is Irma's story of making her way in a world alone, the difficulties and challenges she must face along the way. Her mother's death, her father's drunkenness and the prospects of making a family of her own someday. We get to journey with her and see the light behind an immigrants struggle to survive and in the process we can see hope at the end of the road.

I received this wonderful book compliments of TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review and marveled at how eloquently the author takes us into each new part of Irma's quest for a better life, from the small town of Opi where it began to the new life offered to each immigrant in the land of the free. This one rates 5 out of 5 stars and offers a new belief that there are no such thing as strangers when you are willing to make friends and believe in something more!

For more information about this book, the author and where to get a copy of this book, please click on the link below:

Thanks to the generous folks at TLC Book Tours, they are offering a copy to one lucky reader of this blog. Simply leave a comment telling me why you'd love to win a copy. The giveaway will end on February 11th. I will notify the winner by email at that time, so please include it with your comment. You can use the words (at) or (dot) instead of the symbols. You must be a follower of this blog to enter and have a US shipping address. Please NO P.O. Boxes.


  1. Wow! Your first paragraph kind of sums up my family. It was a hard decision for my family to move to Hong Kong and they have lost touch with lots of people because Hong Kong is "so far." But it was a wonderful decision for them and I wouldn't wish it any other way!

  2. I'd like to win this book because I had family immigrate from Sweden and Norway to the US and I know it was a hard decision for them. This book would be an awesome read.
    I follow.

  3. It sounds like a good story. I would love to know how it all turns out for her. I am a follower. dpucci9972atgmaildotcom

  4. Being born in America, seldom do we understand the hardships of being an immigrant. This sounds like a book to open one's eyes!

    I'm a follower.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  5. I would love to win a copy of this book not only to read but to add it to my collection of womens contemporary fiction. I read to a shelter group of women and from the review this would be a wonderful read. (followwer)

  6. I've read a lot of immigrant stories. My fraternal Grandmtoher came to America thorugh Canada and New York. I've actually seen the documents. So I'm always interested in this typoe of book.

    dancealert at aol dot com

  7. Whoops forgot to tell you I follow and subscibe!

    dancealert at aol dot com

  8. I am a follower and email subscriber. I would love to win the book because it sounds really good.

  9. This book sounds like a great read

    GFC follower


  10. I would love to win this book because it sounds like the kind of book I love. Thank you for the chance :)

    I follow on GFC


  11. This wonderful story sounds captivating and memorable. it resounds with me. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  12. I would love to win because this sounds like a great book!

    I am a GFC follower

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  13. My husbands grandmother was on the boat that helped rescue survivors from the Titanic! I love stories like interesting.


  14. I like in depth, character driven stories! Thanks for another great giveaway!


  15. I would love to read this book because it seems to depict the honesty of what people endure through life.
    joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

  16. My own great-grandparents came over from Italy so I think I'd really enjoy this book as well, especially knowing that you gave it a 5 out of 5 stars!

    Thanks so much for being on the tour - I'm thrilled that you had such wonderful things to say about this book.

    (no need to enter me)

  17. sounds like a wonderful book...

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  18. I'd like to win a copy of this book because I want to read Irma's story which sounds like one many of us can relate too. Irma sounds like a strong and inspiraeional woman determined to make a place and a good life for herself in this world despite some daunting obstacles. I think she's someone I could learn from & want to know.

    Thank you!

  19. My parents came here as immigrants so stories like this really resonate. Thanks for sharing your review and for hosting the giveaway!

    booksncity at gmail dot com

  20. i follow with gfc.
    my husband is an immigrant, so this could be interesting. :)

  21. Sounds like a good read—please enter me to win!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  22. Google Friends Connect - following your blog publicly as Louis

    I would like to win because my family can relate to the topic

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway

    schnitzomage {at} gmail {dot} com

  23. Please let me know how her life turns out.
    I follow by email and GFC


  24. I would love to read this book because immigrant's stories are very meaningful to me. Please enter me in the giveaway.

    I follow via GFC.

    bookloversarah1 at yahoo dot com

    Sarah E


Please share with me your comments. I love to know what touched you about this post or how it has blessed you in any way.