Review for “The Book of Rosy: A Mother’s Story of Separation at the Border” by Rosayra Cruz and Julie Collazo
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Although the plot of this story centers around the life of a woman named Rosayra Cruz, this is essentially a book divided in half with two distinct voices. The first section focuses on why and how Rosy left Guatemala for asylum in the U.S. In addition to surrounding the grinding poverty of the region, Rosy’s husband was violently murdered in 2008. She also discusses numerous gang extortion attempts on her business and her own brush with death with a stranger’s bullet. Rosy subsequently takes her youngest son (she has 4 children in all) and leaves for the U.S. She works for a while in States, but later returns to Guatemala for her oldest son, who at barely 12 years old is being threatened by local gangs. It is on her way back from the second trip when she is detained by Customs and Border Patrol in Arizona and both of her sons taken away from her as a part of Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ family separation policy.
The second section of this book details activist Julie Collazo’s effort to create the non-profit group Immigrant Families Together. Her group begins to raise bail funds for detained migrant women, one of whom is Rosy. After Rosy is released from custody, the kindness that surrounds her through the efforts of activists, teachers, and the community is nothing less than inspiring.
I won’t spoil the book by telling you how it ends, but I definitely recommend this over many of the migration stories coming out right now that have questionable points of view (*ahem* “American Dirt” *ahem*).
Definitely put this on your TBR list. Four solid stars.