4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Each Day A Portion by Nancy Nystrom is a memoir that doesn't just focus on Nancy's life itself. It also details the lives that she changed through her philanthropic work in Mexico, in addition to those that impacted her spiritually and emotionally to make this possible. The first half of the book is dedicated to her family history and life before founding Casa Hogar Los Angelitos, a children's home benefiting orphans and children from abusive families, and the second half details her experiences founding Casa Hogar and working with the children she took in.
From a narrative standpoint, this book is excellent. The events detailed are laid out in chronological order, with reference to biblical verses that inspired the author. It doesn't fall into the trap that so many memoirs do, with winding, stream-of-consciousness descriptions. Instead, it chronicles how Nancy came to help children in Mexico thoroughly and logically. The biblical verses aren't thrown in randomly; they are generally either self-explanatory or explained within the text itself.
While I'm generally not drawn to books with religious themes, I chose to make an exception for this one, and I'm very glad that I did. It was inspiring to see the impact of religion on Nancy's journey and how her faith in God made her work possible, despite a myriad of adversities and challenges she had to overcome. These challenges, ranging from the death of her son to rumors and distrust surrounding Casa Hogar, opened my eyes to the unique difficulties faced by those attempting to help disadvantaged children in Mexico. Nancy acknowledges her past shortcomings, as well as how she overcame them through faith, in a way that felt intimately personal. At the end of the day, Each Day A Portion is about overcoming one's past and accomplishing things that most people would dismiss as impossible.
For obvious reasons, this book would not be suitable for people who are averse to religious themes. Several seemingly "impossible" events are described that led Nancy to her calling, and I can see why readers who don't believe in the metaphysical might be put off by this. There are also strong themes of grief and abuse, both in Nancy's past and with regards to the children she saves; the author makes the argument that it is this similarity that made her uniquely suited to her work, and, indeed, the parallels are undeniable.
I find Each Day A Portion to be a remarkable and inspiring memoir. Its organizational structure and editing are superb, allowing the incredible work that Nancy carried out to shine through. I rate the book 4 out of 4 stars, and while potential readers should be aware of the dark topics it addresses, anyone interested in learning about philanthropy or understanding the author's journey in working with Mexican children should certainly read this book. I believe it would also be extremely helpful for people who are struggling with overcoming past trauma or failure, regardless of their religious background.
Each Day A Portion
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like ViziVoir's review? Post a comment saying so!