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Many children grow up in poverty and some go on to overcome the obstacles and become successful in life in many different ways. In some cases this means "burying" a difficult or traumatic past like Isabel, the heroine of this story. When she marries into a family with wealth and influence, she often feels that despite her best efforts, she does not "fit". The unexpected death of her incarcerated mother forces her to go home and takes her on a personal journey that she does not want or expect. It was a good story and well told.
Joy’s Castro’s excellent way with words and powerful depiction of two different cultures pulls one into the world of Isabel Morales.
This is a first person narrative and Isabel’s descriptions of both the rich and the poor characters who populate her current life as well as her history make this an entertaining read.
I found this book difficult to put down, switching from reading to audio when needed, instead of setting it aside. This story rings true in every way and Isabel’s situation and back story can’t help but captivate a reader.
Isabel’s left leaning political views do come through clearly toward the end. There is suspense as well as drama, wondering how the story will end for this very likable heroine.
This is well written and well worth reading. It’s a story of two different worlds and a strong woman who navigates through both before finally developing the self actualization needed in her life. I enjoyed it.
“Flight Risk”, by Joy Castro, is an unusual read that crosses and combines genres. It changes place and time with little or no warning and you’ll need to pay attention as the story unfolds. There are many boxes to unpack to get to the truth of this tale: an abusive childhood, fleeing from Appalachia to NYC as a young adult seeking identity and finding carrots being dangled that offer opportunities offering success and entry to the world of the elite but having strings tying her to the past sins of her mother.
When love finally does enter her life, another mother figure joins the story already over full of mother. From desperately poor in Appalachia to Chicago’s Golden Mile, Isobel peels away the layers of her life while facing multiple life altering challenges. Will she be able to face the demons “at home” in West Virginia, will her marriage survive, what will she do with her inheritance? Lots to uncover in this engaging, fast paced read📚
What truly makes this book worth reading is how well the author tells the story, not the story itself. I thoroughly agree with one reviewer who mentioned that the quality of writing is frequently the only thing that sets books apart today, when so many stories seem the same.
Although the point of view is in first person, and skips from memory to present in seemingly abrupt ways, somehow it works and the story flows smoothly, captivating the reader with deftly chosen words that breath life into the book.
It's not an easy story and touches on difficult themes such as rape, intense poverty, racism, parental violence, death of a child, drugs and alcohol. But the beautiful writing style lifts this beyond the tough themes and makes it a book worth reading.
Profanity sprinkled throughout. Sex is talked about freely; non-consensual and consensual, but nothing is graphic.
Although this may not be a book for everyone, I do recommend it for those who love words, crisp, vivid descriptions and good writing.
Really liked book until she did the democrat thing and talked about how devastated she was that our last president was elected. A man who was bad to women and others. Gee. Cant politics be left out. That was such a needless part of the book. To become hysterical because of who was elected.
Joy Castro's heart for those who might be considered "less than" by others is quite apparent in this tale of redemption.
As the secrets of Isabel Martin's life are revealed, secrets she's been desperately hiding from her too-good-to-be-true husband, the reader is drawn into an almost stereotypical portrayal of the hazards of growing up in coal country and escaping from it. Castro's superb writing, however, minimizes the trope with its sensitive portrayal of the characters inhabiting the tale.
This is such an ambitious book with so many current issues discussed and included. I give it 3.5 stars because it was all just a bit too much for me to find believable. And yet, I really appreciate the attempt to get folks to think about rural poverty, the effects of coal mining on communities (In my youth I was a surface coal mine inspector - a truly naive one.), the pervasiveness of drugs, the lack of opportunities, and the hopelessness in those communities. The threats of violence were by no means exaggerated. If anything, that was underplayed. I have never had a cousin make and sort of sexual advance, but have had a first cousin marry a second cousin several times removed. I suppose that aspect was included to increase our main character's alienation from West Virginia, but it was a stereotype I wish had not been included.
I really, really liked the inclusion of information about Haiti. That is a subject also dear to my heart. I taught ESL to adult immigrants for seventeen years, including a number from Haiti. The immigrants come here to work in my community 's numerous poultry processing plants. My part of semi rural America has a large immigrant population. Haitian immigrants live across the street from me, Hispanics next door without major problems. Personally, I think that while America continues to send aid to Haiti, we also need to allow more Haitians to immigrate.
Isobel Morales grows up in poverty with a mother who is a tramp and drug addict. She doesn't know her father and she has a little brother who is killed. Her mother goes to prison. Isobel goes into a foster home. Ultimately she escapes Appalachia, changes her identity, goes to art school and meets and marries a wealthy doctor, lives in Chicago in a rarefied social circle. She is contacted by her Aunt when her mother dies and must return to her childhood home and traumatic past. She doesn't tell her husband because it will expose her lie that she is not who she pretends to be. I enjoyed the author's description of the woods that Isobel escaped into as a child and again as a woman. I did not think the negative political comments about Trump were necessary to the story...they just seemed erroneous.