In the Country We Love

In the Country We Love
Diane Guerrero with Michelle Burford, 2016

Premise: Actress Diane Guerrero shares her family's experiences with being undocumented in America.

When Diane Guerrero was just fourteen, her parents were deported. She was overlooked by the child welfare system and stayed with friends and neighbors until she finished high school.

There are the bones of a really fascinating, moving story here, but that isn't quite what this book ended up as.

There were parts I really liked. I found her parents' lives interesting. It was moving how hard they tried to become American citizens, although all the while the knowledge of their status stole some of the joy from their lives.

I was moved by her feeling pulled between two worlds, especially after her parents were deported. She is an American citizen, and America was her only home, and her parents both knew that and were happy for her and at the same time wanted her with them in Columbia.

All of the chapters about those topics were solid.

Diane Guerrero is a successful breakout star on Orange Is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, two shows I have not seen (although the former is on my list). So I don't know whether the chapters about her working toward her acting career are more satisfying for her fans. I personally found them thin. I have known a lot of hard-working actors. She might be extraordinarily talented, but she is also extraordinarily lucky. Her family situation honestly didn't seem to slow her down much, and her only roadblocks seemed to be of her own making.

I don't know, I though much of the book was good, but by the end, I didn't understand much more than I had before (either intellectually or emotionally) about being an immigrant. It was longer than it needed to be and oddly flat in affect in parts. Possibly a better read for her fans.

2 Stars - An Okay Book


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