Sweeping and panoramic, You Were There Before My Eyes is the epic and intimate story of a young woman who chafes at the stifling routine and tradition of her small, turn-of-the-century Italian village. When an opportunity presents itself for her to emigrate to America, her hunger for escape compels her to leave everything behind for the gleaming promises await her and her young husband in Mr. Ford’s factories.Determine to survive, and perhaps even thrive, young Jane finds herself navigating not just a new language and country, but a world poised upon the edge of economic and social revolution—and war. As Jane searches for inner fulfillment while building young family, the tide of history ebbs and flows. From the chaos of Ellis Island to the melting pot of industrial Detroit, You Were There Before My Eyes spills over with colorful characters and vivid period details. Maria Riva paints an authentic portrait of immigrant America and poignantly captures the ever-evolving nature of the American dream.
Maria Riva was born in Berlin in 1924 and is the only child of Marlene Dietrich. Maria performed in Germany and Italy as part of a USO troupe during World War II and taught acting at Fordham University upon her return to the United States. She has performed on Broadway, radio, television, and film and has been nominated for an Emmy. Maria continues an active life in California and spends time visiting her sons and grandchildren.