Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra



Loved  Etched in Sand  by Regina Calcaterra.  Where to start?  Her and her four siblings grow up in a very dysfunctional lifestyle with a very sick, abusive mother.  There is a lot of physical abuse and alluded to sexual abuse.  Ms. Calcaterra is such an inspiration.  Despite having to endure responsibilities that go beyond what any young person at the age 14 or younger has to endure she beats the system.  I found her writing to be very easy to read; it seemed that she was sitting next to me telling me her story.  Her tone was friendly and inviting. 
I loved Aunt Julia and Uncle Frank, what fantastic people.  Hearing about how they played a huge part in Regina’s life and her siblings was very humbling.   I was so relieved and happy to hear that Aunt Julia finally gave Regina and her siblings a feeling of love and acceptance.
    Cookie was a horrific mother. I wish that there had been some redemption for her and that she had a least given her kids some closure but there was none.  Regine words it perfectly, “ children are supposed to find their greatest safety and comfort in the arms of their mothers.” P.57.  This did not take away from the great success that Regina and her family achieved.  When Regina finally meets her grandparents they don’t provide too much insight into what caused Cookie to be who she was. 
Regina’s relationship with her siblings was really touching and her ultimate connection with Rosie made me cry.  Regina and her siblings really are an inspiration.  They always fought for each other, “ Rosie needed us to save her, and we tried, but we couldn’t, because when you live on the fringes of society with no resources, you have no voice and your complaints are easily ignored.” (p.232)
There were so many parts that I loved but some really stood out: “ my childhood on Long Island gave me a very personal awareness for how people in power can impact the lives of others.” p.3
The disappoint with her father was very difficult to bare, after so many years and so many questions… the lengths she had to go to were astonishing. 
Our current lawmakers should have this staring at them.   The system failed Regina and her family over and over but she remains a source of inspiration, “I remember Ms. Van Dover’s words, so I perform well on Mrs. Young’s tests and participate not like my life depends on it, but because  my life depends on it.” (p.134) Throughout her life Regina uses school as her gateway to another life and the possibilities it can give her.
I wish this was required reading for everyone and anyone, “ no accomplishment has  taken place without trial, and no growth could have occurred without unwavering love.” (p.4)
Incredible!