November 22, 2023

My Side of the River

"Maybe that's why everything in Mexico tasted sweeter and familiar—we were together. Being there gave us a freedom we didn't have in the United States." ~ pg. 90

In this candid age-progressing memoir, Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez shares her experience as a U.S. born daughter of immigrants. She lived south of the Rillito River in Tucson, Arizona. Crossing into Mexico used to be seamless. Then her parents' visa expired and they were forced to return to Mexico. Elizabeth was left responsible for her younger brother and education.

Imagine living in fear. Imagine having to stay in Mexico when your life is in the United States. Imagine separating from your children and deciding to leave them a world away for a chance at better education. Imagine having to fade into crowds. Imagine working a job you hate in a system that doesn't see your family as humans. On a lighter note, imagine the smell of fresh tamales and watching Disney as a form of escape. 

Elizabeth so honestly shares her experience from early childhood to adulthood with the hopes that readers will understand. She did a fine job translating her Brown girl story to print. 

"For so long college was the end goal, but the goalposts kept moving..." ~ pg. 171

My Side of the River explores themes of immigration, broken families, separation trauma and sacrifices. There are sad moments but through it all, I admire Elizabeth's determination to succeed despite adversities and constantly fighting currents. Usually I recommend nonfiction releases to Bookhearts that like memoirs but My Side of the River needs to be read by politicians to absorb the effects of their views made into laws. 

Happy Early Pub Day, Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez! My Side of the River will be available Tuesday, February 13, 2024.

Disclaimer: An advance copy was received directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins. ~LiteraryMarie

Title: My Side of the River
Author: Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez
Published: February 2024
Pages: 224
Edition: Galley
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

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