Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra
A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island

84%

14 Critic Reviews

Calcaterra concludes her story with the genuine sentiment that “we all have to believe.” At the end of this unforgettable book, readers will.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

Regina’s Calcaterra memoir, Etched in Sand, is an inspiring and triumphant coming-of-age story of tenacity and hope.
 
Regina Calcaterra is a successful lawyer, New York State official, and activist. Her painful early life, however, was quite different. Regina and her four siblings survived an abusive and painful childhood only to find themselves faced with the challenges of the foster-care system and intermittent homelessness in the shadows of Manhattan and the Hamptons.
 
A true-life rags-to-riches story, Etched in Sand chronicles Regina’s rising above her past, while fighting to keep her brother and three sisters together through it all.
 
Beautifully written, with heartbreaking honesty, Etched in Sand is an unforgettable reminder that regardless of social status, the American Dream is still within reach for those who have the desire and the determination to succeed.

 

About Regina Calcaterra

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While growing up in Suffolk County, New York with her four siblings, Regina Calcaterra lived in numerous foster homes, homeless shelters, and on the streets. Regina graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 1988, and in 1996 she obtained her juris doctorate while attending law school in the evenings at Seton Hall University School of Law. After college, Regina became the founding partner of the New York office of Barrack, Rodos & Bacine (BR&B), an internationally recognized and highly ranked securities litigation firm. In early 2010, Regina announced her candidacy for New York State Senate for the First Senatorial District, and campaigned actively on ethics reform in New York State government. From 2006 to 2011 Regina was a board member of You Gotta Believe, an adoption agency for older foster children. She has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the perils that foster children face if they age out of the system parentless and the need to get these youth adopted into permanent homes. Today, she serves as Chief Deputy County Executive to Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone. Regina is also a frequent commentator of policy and politics, appearing on stations like the Fox News Channel, CNBC, Newsday, and other media outlets.
 
Published August 6, 2013 by William Morrow Paperbacks. 323 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Jun 22 2014
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Critic reviews for Etched in Sand
All: 14 | Positive: 14 | Negative: 0

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Jun 24 2013

Calcaterra concludes her story with the genuine sentiment that “we all have to believe.” At the end of this unforgettable book, readers will.

Read Full Review of Etched in Sand: A True Story ... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Kirkus

Good
on Jun 08 2013

...never once does she flinch from the terrible truths with which she has lived and so courageously reveals here. Riveting reading from start to finish.

Read Full Review of Etched in Sand: A True Story ... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Allison Hiltz on Nov 05 2013

I read this book in one sitting because I could not put it down. The author does such an excellent job in detailing the horrors of her childhood while simultaneously writing with a type of strength that is unmatched in any of the memoirs I've previously read.

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Luxury Reading

Above average
Reviewed by Alyssa Katanic on Sep 02 2013

Reality is not always “happily ever after” and all neatly wrapped up by the last page, yet Etched in Sand does work out very triumphantly in many aspects, and it is encouraging to see how these siblings survived and learned how to thrive and support each other despite their childhood...

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Leeswammes' Blog

Good
Reviewed by Leeswammes on Oct 26 2013

As is often the case in this kind of situation, Regina had several teachers who helped her along, insisting that education was the way out for her. And so it was. This book reminded me of The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.

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She Treads Softly Blog

Excellent
on Aug 22 2013

In Etched in Sand Regina writes about her childhood in the present tense with a simple straightforward honesty which makes the narrative feel more raw and tragic, if that is even possible.

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Book Hooked Blog

Excellent
Reviewed by Julie G. on Aug 14 2013

It's a hard story to read, and not for those who are easily disturbed by scenes of child abuse and neglect...However, the way that the author overcomes those events is so inspiring and impressive that it was worth reading the hard parts.

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A Bookish Affair

Good
on Aug 07 2013

This book is for those that don't mind tough subjects but love stories of love between siblings, overcoming obstacles, and seeing the triumph of the human spirit.

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Reviewed by Mom

Good
Reviewed by Kristin Jordan on Nov 30 2014

This book will break your heart. However, it will also mend it with the knowledge that love and perseverance can overcome any obstacle. The author has let the reader into her life in a way that is so personal that you will feel like you are living her life right alongside her.

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Ex Libris

Above average
Reviewed by Andrea on May 10 2014

This book is at the same time disturbing and inspiring. The treatment that Regina and her siblings endure at the hands of their mentally unstable, neglectful mother is nothing short of horrific, to the point where you wonder how a mother can do such things...

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5 Minutes for Mom

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer Donovan on Aug 05 2013

This story is riveting. The writing is fluid and captivating. Calcaterra tells some stories in flashback form, but it always serves to better the story and is never confusing or out of place.

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In Search of the End of the Sidewalk

Good
on Sep 05 2014

...not an easy read, but one that reminds us all that it is possible to overcome the odds, even when the chances seem impossibly slim...

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Tiffany's Bookshelf

Good
Reviewed by Tiffany Harkleroad on Aug 13 2013

Regina is not a victim; she is a survivor. And thanks to this survivor telling her story, perhaps the system can be improved, and allow for more survivors.

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Dreaming in Books

Good
on Aug 20 2013

...I came away from it thinking that Regina Calcaterra is a hero for doing what she's done and for telling her story with such grace and directness. If you read a memoir this year, read Regina's.

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Reader Rating for Etched in Sand
91%

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Karen Russo

Karen Russo 5 Sep 2013

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