• Etched in Sand

  • A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island
  • By: Regina Calcaterra
  • Narrated by: Regina Calcaterra
  • Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (2,506 ratings)

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Etched in Sand  By  cover art

Etched in Sand

By: Regina Calcaterra
Narrated by: Regina Calcaterra
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Publisher's summary

In this story of perseverance in the face of adversity, Regina Calcaterra recounts her childhood in foster care and on the streets and how she and her savvy crew of homeless siblings managed to survive years of homelessness, abandonment, and abuse.

Regina Calcaterra's emotionally powerful memoir reveals how she endured a series of foster homes and intermittent homelessness in the shadow of the Hamptons, and how she rose above her past while fighting to keep her brother and three sisters together.

Beautifully written and heartbreakingly honest, 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.

©2013 Regina Calcaterra (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers

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What listeners say about Etched in Sand

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Big eye-opener about our Foster Care system

This non-fiction book was very disturbing in a very
inspiring way. This story will stay with me a long time.
We need to pay attention!

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14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

*Against All Odds*

One would never guess from looking at the successful adult that Regina Calcaterra is, that her childhood was a wretched life of abuse and neglect at the hand of an alcoholic mother. She and her sisters and brother suffered endlessly, going without food or a place to live and being beaten often. They were tossed in and out of foster homes throughout their childhoods. But somehow the bond of love held them together through it all. Regina, who has the heart of a pit bull: loyal, stubborn, fierce, and determined, fought her way out of that life of tragedy so that she could someday help others like her. I have had numerous foster children in and out of my home, but none with a story so tragic as Regina's. With all the odds stacked against her, Regina was still able to pull herself out of that wretched life and cross the street to the other side, where the grass is greener and life is good. I applaud you Regina!

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12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A wonderfully told story

Would you consider the audio edition of Etched in Sand to be better than the print version?

The Audio version was great, did not read the print version.

What did you like best about this story?

That it was a raw, true, emotional story told by the real character herself.

Which character – as performed by Regina Calcaterra – was your favorite?

Regina herself without a doubt.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, I was often angry, afraid, happy and sad.

Any additional comments?

This book will hook you from the very start.

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11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I love the sound of Regina's voice

Where does Etched in Sand rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I love books that are read by the author. Regina was the only narrator that could have told this jaw dropping history. I love her accent, it made me connect to her story that much more. I wanted to reach back in time and help her. This book is excellent.

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love Endures

I have read both books but really want to read Girl Unbroken again as I just finished Etched in Sand. Imagine my surprise and shock when while at camp at the Running of the Sheep in Ketchum barely a week ago, I am talking to my friend about some issues in my own life (she is a retired counselor and wonderful lady...) and I told her that while driving from the Oregon Coast to my home in Idaho, I finished an audible book. I told her about Etched in Sand and she is the adoptive mother of Rosie! She reminded me of Girl Unbroken, which I read a couple of years ago... Can you believe it? So, I am rereading Girl Unbroken again so that I can better embrace the sequence of events and share with my friend. Life is so unpredictable and I am always amazed at how things can change when you least expect it. These girls survived a harrowing experience and I can attest to the love and commitment of my friend. I hope to share this with my bookclub...

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing story .Could not put it down.

Would you listen to Etched in Sand again? Why?

Yes .. the story was voiced in such a way you wanted to reach out and hug those kids and never let them live like that again.

What did you like best about this story?

Over and over she constantly climb up and out of so much cruelty.And had such unbelievable courage and faith to keep going when a lot of others would have gave up.

Have you listened to any of Regina Calcaterra’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Heart went out to kids..babies had such a horrifying mother.very sad.but very encouraging.

Any additional comments?

This story will always stay with me.

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6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Inspiring!

What did you love best about Etched in Sand?

The story is so well told, I feel like I know Regina and her siblings!

What did you like best about this story?

You will walk away feeling inspired by Regina's heart and determination!

What does Regina Calcaterra bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

When she calls her little sister Rosie, "Mia bambino", you can hear her heart and love for her sister.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I love that they all have their own individual happy endings but they stay a family.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A must read of hope and determination!<br /><br />

This book grabbed me from the beginning. Anyone who has suffered rejection from a parent and is forced to raise themself and their siblings will find
strength, courage, and most of all hope in this beautifully narrated true story.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Etched in Sand

I really enjoyed this book. I also lived though a lot of abuse, and ended up in foster care. This book brought back a lot of bad memories, but just like these 5 sibling I also made it. I'm 69 now, and have made it through to the other side.

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4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book and story but..

I wanted to hear how Addie was at the end. I loved everything else about it and lived a childhood that was sorta like Regina’s.
Thanks for sharing your story.

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3 people found this helpful

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  • Jackie
  • 12-14-16

Courage and survival that will humble your heart

Any additional comments?

I have listened to both sister's books and come away a bit ashamed to consider my own life challenges as quite as difficult as before. The ability to survive not only in tact but to have come as far as these sisters and brother have...and with the willingness to share their story has changed my heart forever and i am blessed to have listened to both books.

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  • Suzi
  • 06-10-22

Heartbreaking, gripping, but ultimately uplifting

Highly recommended. Regina, what terrible things you & your siblings had to endure, it's amazing you all survived at all. The power of sibling love. It's amazing how you remained so strong and came through the other side and succeeded so well in education and career while still trying to keep your family together. Amazing, beautifully, though heartbreakingly narrated.

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  • Kim
  • 04-24-17

Must read!!!

What an extraordinary story. My heartfelt congratulations to Regina. I'm eager to hear Rosie's story now. What a story!!!

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