83-year-old publishes book on husbands life
TWEED Heads local Bettina Ricciuti has shared 32 years with her beloved second husband Gabriele.
Now the 83-year-old has written and published a biography on her husband's incredible and eventful journey, The Book of Gabriele in an ode to how he changed her life.
The book shares how Gabriele's spirit saw him though many trials and tribulations including the tragedy of WWII in Italy, surviving 42 horrific days on a rust bucket ship and more unimaginable events.
In 1943, his idyllic, simple life in the Italian town of Ripa Teatina, Abruzzo was shattered by World War II.
In 1952, Gabriele accepts the offer from the Australian Government of promised paid work. He survives 42 horrific days on a rust bucket ship, the infamous SS Hellenic Prince, to become an inmate of the Bonegilla Migrant Camp.
Gabriele's beautifully written biography starts in Italy and the horrors of war and then, moves to Australia, taking the reader from the intensity of Ingham's cane fields in far North Queensland, down the East Coast of Australia to Geelong in Southern Victoria, to finally settle in the Queensland New South Wales border town of beautiful Tweed Heads.
Gabriele, 89, is now blind but the couple are still happily married.
"Gabriele came along and changed my life," she said.
The couple, who married in 1990, travelled to Queensland, bought a house and car cleaning business, then managed a Caravan Park in Tweed Heads for nine years.
Mrs Ricciuti, a poet, is delighted to publish her first novel.
"My need to create has taken many diverse artistic forms, from wall murals to glass painting," she said.
"At fifty, I wrote my first poem, and I was amazed at how easily I express myself in poetry. "In 1993, I published my first poetry book My Life Through a Looking Glass.
"I have urgent plans to publish my next book of poetry, god willing.
"This book is not the end of our story."
Visit www.insidelovebook.com for more information.