4 out of 4 stars
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Nuyorican, Growing up in Brooklyn is a grass to grace memoir by Nilda I. Cortes. Cortes bares her heart in this book, starting from the very beginning. The “About the Author” section of the book talks a lot about all her achievements, and they are impressive. The hard work and hardships she went through are worthwhile. Diving into this book, with all that she had accomplished, I pondered what her “Unfinished business” was.
This book contains 23 chapters, and it is not limited in content. From the history and ancestry of Puerto Ricans to her earliest memories, to how she learnt and overcame the hurdles, she faced in life. This book covers all the mentioned categories. She addressed issues like racism during her era, her marital difficulties, abusive husband, the life of a single mom, education, and so on.
There are many things to like about this book and many life lessons to learn. It shows the author possesses strength not just for herself but also for everyone around her. Her story made me understand the importance of spending time with family and creating everlasting good memories. I loved how she improved her career every chance she got. She made use of opportunities and wasn’t afraid to try new things.
One of my favourite portions of this book was the poem she wrote about a friend, James. She lost him to suicide. The circumstances were bad and horrifying, and it clearly showed that not all that glitters is gold. The way the author handled the situation was practical, and the poem was a lovely touch. She also introduced other people in the story intelligently, like Celina’s story, and the storytelling was always cohesive. The jump through timelines and recalls didn’t affect the story at all.
The author experienced a lot of death and loss of loved ones. She experienced limitations, betrayal, and rejections but was able to explore the positive sides and make something of herself. Her boldness in anxiety was equal to none. This book provides many inspirations for the reader. Therefore, I recommend this book to adults who are trying to discover their paths at a stage where they feel lost and unmotivated.
According to the author’s quote, “The past cannot be changed, but we can focus on trying to make our present and future better.” There is something for everyone. Young adults can learn about determination and perseverance. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars because it is well-written, and there are many life lessons for the reader. The only thing I wished for was Michael’s (her son) paintings in one of the pages. Also, the unfinished business was made clearer towards the ending part of the book, which was more emotional than physical. The book is flawless as I didn’t detect any grammatical or punctuation error. Most importantly, there is nothing I dislike about the book.
Nuyorican, Growing up in Brooklyn
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