Sometimes It Snows in America


Born into Somali royalty and Saudi Arabian wealth, Fatma is given away in infancy and, at age 12, forced into an arranged marriage with a young Peace Corps worker with ties to her uncle and guardian. Prejudice and cultural demands lead to a number of painful promises that will dictate the course of her life in both Africa and America. 

Throughout her struggles on two continents, of one thing Fatma remains clear: there are individuals in every level of society who are greedy for power and eager to dominate, at any cost, those weaker than themselves. Everywhere there is a jungle, and in every jungle there is a king lion. 

The novel, loosely based on a true story, is the cross-cultural journey of an African woman’s descent into an American hell, and finds its echo in the descent of her native Somalia into its own hell of violent desperation. It leaves the reader with the gifts of unsuspected connection and surprising hope.

Formats: Paperback / eBook
ISBN: 9781550716092

Reading Group Guide for
Sometimes It Snows in America



"While the basic premise of a displaced princess looking for somewhere she belongs may seem like standard fairytale fare, the content of this book is anything but. The events and drama are visceral and constant...At its heart this is a classic story of loss, redemption, and empowerment, and it leaves the reader feeling something profound by the final page."
The US Review of Books
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"The story of a rebellious young girl from Somalia who comes to America is a searing and vividly intimate portrait that feels painfully real and yet never succumbs to sentimentality. You want to reach out and help her, but you know you cannot. She has to find her own path to redemption." 
— Jonathan Harr, A Civil Action

"Fatma is a strong, determined character who remains with the reader long after the last page is turned." 
— Leslea Newman, October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

"What I do love is a writer who can transport me to another time and place via a compelling character and bring to life a set of circumstances I could never have imagined. This book does just that." 
— Meg Bouvier in Goodreads
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"Praise for Sometimes It Snows in America. Labozzetta creates a world so real with characters so poignant to the extent of heartbreak, it's a wonder they have the strength to continue their struggles...A revelation of a shadow world in plain view from Main Street, yet reaching across continents, cultures, religions...a transporting experience."
— Grady Watts, Senior VP, State of the Art, Inc. 

"...would be an interesting choice for courses in Gender & Women''s Studies, English or Africana Studies that focus on gender and immigration issues."
— Nancy Caronia in VIA

"The author of this review, who taught in the National Somali University established by the Italian government in the late eighties at the eve of the conflicts, finds it a worthwhile commitment, on Labozzetta's part, to give a face to the precarious life and uncertain destiny of the Somali population as a timely reminder of an unresolved disaster."
— Maria Anita Stefanelli in Italian Americana

"...absolutely fascinating...a very compelling, well-written, well-told story about current immigration in the United States...echoes the type of immigration going on in Italy right now."
— Fred Gardaphé in i-Italy