4 out of 4 stars
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A Pebble That Floats is a memoir written by Imelda Argel. Imelda enjoyed a happy and privileged childhood in a close-knit family in the Philippines. Following her parents' career path, she pursued and earned a law degree from the University of the Philippines. Leveraging on her brilliance and familial connections, she worked in some of the best law firms and corporate organizations in her country. Her career thrived; however, her love life was gloomy. Her luck changed, or so she thought when her friend Rene introduced her to his brother-in-law, Pablo. They got married after a few months of courtship and thus began the most tumultuous years of her life.
Even though most of Imelda’s experiences happened in the 1970s and 80s, I could relate to her story. The pressure to get and stay married, underplaying her achievements to maintain an acceptable level of humility, unfair treatment at work and hiding an abusive relationship are situations many women in this day and age still experience. Her simple and succinct writing style pulled me into the story. Her descriptions of the callous treatment meted out to her and their son by her husband annoyed me. His manipulative attempts to deny her and their son their rights after abusing her financially for years buttresses the sort of person he is.
There is a lot to take away from Imelda's story, but I most admire her brilliance, tenacity, kindness, and work ethic. Life beat her down many times, but she never stayed down. After a marriage bad enough to crush anyone's spirit and self-esteem, she left her cushy life and career, took a leap of faith and moved to another continent.
Adjusting to life in Australia with a child and fast depleting savings turned out to be more harrowing than she imagined. From her Filipino law degree not being recognized in Australia to demeaning interviews and unlawful dismissal from her job, she turned her life around with sheer determination and hard work.
She actively promoted her culture and helped hundreds of Filipinos move to Australia as permanent residents through her business as an immigration expert and consultant. Her work and involvement in government facilitated the signing of many favourable treaties between the Australian and Philippines Government.
Imelda's story is candid, straight to the point, inspiring, and thoroughly-edited. I can't fault any aspect of it, so I rate it 4 out of 4 stars. The personal and family pictures at the end of the book are like the rays of the sun after a rainy day. The book will appeal to fans of memoirs and inspirational stories.
A Pebble That Floats
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