Official Review: The Land of Sunshine and Hell

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
Post Reply
Theresa Moffitt
Posts: 612
Joined: 18 Jun 2018, 22:27
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 265
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-theresa-moffitt.html
Latest Review: Cat Detectives in the Korean Peninsula by R.F. Kristi
2022 Reading Goal: 70
2022 Goal Completion: 45%

Official Review: The Land of Sunshine and Hell

Post by Theresa Moffitt »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Land of Sunshine and Hell" by Maxene Raices.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


The Land of Sunshine and Hell by Maxene Raices is a memoir by a woman who has led a fascinating life. The book is extremely well-written and keeps the reader engaged in the story. Maxene has had heart-breaking experiences in her life. She grew up in a time when teenage pregnancy was a dark secret to be hidden away from the world. When she discovered that she was pregnant, she made the decision to give the baby up for adoption. It was not an easy decision, but she felt it was her only option.

Maxene was young and naïve when she discovered she was pregnant. She had been accepted into college and had dreams of becoming a teacher. The pregnancy changed her plans drastically. When she decided to have the baby, her mother made the arrangements for the adoption. Maxene felt helpless to make any other decision. She was sent away to live with a family friend to avoid scandal. Once the baby was born, she started college in the Spring semester as though nothing had happened. However, she knew the truth and struggled with the loss. In addition to a teenage pregnancy, Maxene also experienced an abusive marriage later in her life. When she gave birth to her second child, she knew she had to leave the abusive relationship.

The author wrote a heart-wrenching story about her life and the obstacles she faced. The emotions she felt as a young girl still seem fresh in her mind. She repeatedly described feeling invisible. It was interesting to have the author describe the grief she felt when she gave her child up for adoption. Grief is an emotion we don’t usually associate with adoptions, but she suffered a huge loss that was not acknowledged, not even by her family. The author repeatedly described the web of lies necessary to keep her secret and avoid gossip. Many readers may relate to her experiences or have empathy for her and what she went through. Her resilience is admirable and enjoyable to read. I think this book would appeal to a wide variety of readers.

This book is an interesting look at unwanted pregnancy during this time. The author also touched upon the process for locating adopted children and resources that were available at the time. I especially appreciated when she included diary entries from when she went through these experiences. They added to the story by providing a depth of emotion that she felt in the moment. The author’s writing style was engaging and kept me interested in the story from beginning to end.

I enjoyed reading this book. The subject matter of teenage pregnancy may be inappropriate for young readers, but there were no graphic sexual situations. There were a few minor errors, but they did not take away from my enjoyment of the book. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys reading memoirs or stories of resilience. I give this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. The author has led an interesting life.

******
The Land of Sunshine and Hell
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Miller56
Posts: 504
Joined: 22 Jul 2019, 19:30
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 61
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-miller56.html
Latest Review: Ruby by Cathy Coburn

Post by Miller56 »

Thanks for the review. This memoir shows us grief from a different angle. I am sure giving a child up for adoption leaves the mother with a large void, even when it is the best choice. It sounds like the author made several choices that altered her life.
Latest Review: Ruby by Cathy Coburn
User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 11609
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
Currently Reading: The Neverending Story
Bookshelf Size: 421
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: Blue Zeus by Carol J. Walker
2022 Reading Goal: 100
2022 Goal Completion: 21%

Post by kandscreeley »

This was a different time to be sure. I'm definitely curious about the author's experiences. It sounds like she went through a lot. Thanks for sharing with us.
A book is a dream you hold in your hands.
—Neil Gaiman
User avatar
Ever_Reading
Posts: 825
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 10:01
Favorite Book: A Thousand Splendid Suns
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 139
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ever-reading.html
Latest Review: Stand Up! For Yourself by Jennie Msangi
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by Ever_Reading »

I can't imagine the pain of having your child taken away from you, whether the pregnancy was planned or otherwise. I'm glad the author has turned her loss into a courageous story in the form of this memoir. I enjoyed your review. Thank you for the recommendation!
Here’s to books, the cheapest vacation you can buy.
— Charlaine Harris :techie-studyingbrown:
User avatar
MustaHarleen
Posts: 174
Joined: 12 Dec 2019, 03:10
Currently Reading: Warrior of Shadows: The Final Battle
Bookshelf Size: 51
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-mustaharleen.html
Latest Review: The Altitude Journals by David J Mauro

Post by MustaHarleen »

It sounds like an amazing memoir. It's so hard when you have to give up a part of you in order to fit in a society that most times doesn't even care about your pain. The interesting title caught my eye. Thanks for your wonderful review.
User avatar
Amy+++
Posts: 1134
Joined: 12 Apr 2018, 17:49
Favorite Book: The Mister
Currently Reading: Last Chance Cafe
Bookshelf Size: 219
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-amy.html
Latest Review: The Chauvinist's Guide to Modern Romance by Morris Rollins
Reading Device: B01CRGNO4S
2022 Reading Goal: 5
2022 Goal Completion: 0%

Post by Amy+++ »

I like that the book shines light on teen pregnancy during a time when it was frowned upon, but this isn't my genre.
User avatar
Ferdinand_Otieno
Posts: 3126
Joined: 03 Jun 2017, 12:54
Favorite Author: Victor Rose
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 1553
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ferdinand-otieno.html
Latest Review: Intrepid by Jim Ballentine
fav_author_id: 78026

Post by Ferdinand_Otieno »

This is an inspiring memoir on teenage pregnancy, grief, denial, domestic abuse, resilience, social pressure, and growth. The book has a free sample on Amazon Kindle and has a well-written OnlineBookClub review that perfectly described the book. Congrats on the BOTD selection.
User avatar
Kibetious
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 3249
Joined: 26 Jul 2017, 01:48
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 1900
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kibetious.html
Latest Review: Fatally Blessed by Francie Phillips
2022 Reading Goal: 120
2022 Goal Completion: 40%

Post by Kibetious »

I am glad that her resilience is admirable. It is quite clear from the book that she had to endure much when she gave up her child for adoption to join college and live as though nothing had happened.
Thanks much for the informative review.
“It just hurts too much to admit what is wanted so badly when there’s no guarantee of its availability.”
- Dr. Larry Crabb
User avatar
AntonelaMaria
Posts: 2089
Joined: 17 Apr 2019, 14:31
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 385
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-antonelamaria.html
Latest Review: For Love of Art and Ericka by William P Truesdell

Post by AntonelaMaria »

This is very interesting book for sure. No matter what time the emotions behind losing a child is always the same. Thank you fro a great review.
“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
The Minpins by Roald Dahl
User avatar
Stephanie Elizabeth
Posts: 2780
Joined: 18 Jul 2018, 15:41
Currently Reading: We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
Bookshelf Size: 185
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-stephanie-elizabeth.html
Latest Review: Antoinette and the Story of the Invisible Giraffes by Alison McGregor
2022 Reading Goal: 15
2022 Goal Completion: 113%

Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

This must have been a very common way of dealing with an unplanned teen pregnancy because I recently read a book that was very similar. It sounds like an emotionally-charged read and I hope the main character is able to escape her abusive relationship. Thanks for the wonderful review!
AvocaDebo621
Posts: 500
Joined: 04 Feb 2020, 11:47
Currently Reading: The Daily Stoic
Bookshelf Size: 183
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-avocadebo621.html
Latest Review: We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz

Post by AvocaDebo621 »

I can't even imagine the sense of loss and heartbreak she must have felt without a proper emotional support system to help her through her trauma. I'm glad the author has overcome her loss by channeling it into a courageous story in the form of this memoir. I enjoyed your thorough review. Thank you for the recommendation! 🙂
User avatar
Amy747
Posts: 258
Joined: 07 Feb 2020, 11:12
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 70
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-amy747.html
Latest Review: Real Secrets Of Life by Krishna Jagarnath

Post by Amy747 »

I think that writing about ones struggles in life would be somewhat healing for the author. Im glad she reunited with her child eventually.
User avatar
Readerjorge
Posts: 1155
Joined: 03 Mar 2019, 07:06
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 127
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-readerjorge.html
Latest Review: Rediscovering the Wisdom of Human Nature, second edition by Chet Shupe

Post by Readerjorge »

A story of resilience, a memory of a woman who gave her baby up for adoption when she felt it was her only option, after becoming pregnant as a teenager. A heartbreaking plot.
User avatar
NetMassimo
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 5041
Joined: 24 Jul 2019, 06:37
Currently Reading: The Long Cosmos
Bookshelf Size: 310
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-netmassimo.html
Latest Review: Cynthia and Dan by Dorothy May Mercer
2022 Reading Goal: 57
2022 Goal Completion: 82%

Post by NetMassimo »

This story says a lot about the way unwanted pregnancies were handled at the time, with the only aim to avoid a scandal. Who knows how really common it was?
Ciao :)
Massimo
Shabram22
Posts: 298
Joined: 27 Nov 2019, 03:41
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 24
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-shabram22.html
Latest Review: Breaking the Chain by Patricia Rossi

Post by Shabram22 »

I was taken away by your review! Although I don't usually read memories, I think this one would be interesting to read.
Post Reply

Return to “Non-Fiction Books”