Jesusita by Ronald L. Ruiz left me a changed person and I still can’t figure out if it for the better or not. Right from the start I felt so bad for all the characters even the ones I didn’t agree or like the things that they were doing. I felt so bad for the things that the characters had to go through just to survive. It makes me sad at some of the things that have been done to immigrants in the past and still happen to them now. It is hard for me to review this book because I was left feeling sad for everything that happened to the characters in the book. I would recommend this book to everyone but know that it might be hard at times to read and even I had to put the book down at times for a few days because it was just too much to read at times.
About The Book
Jesusita is the story of immigrants—legal and illegal—trying to survive in California in the years after World War II. Jesusita, alone and impoverished, struggles to keep her four young children together. Though she finds support from Padre Montes at St. Teresa’s Catholic Church, her faith won’t solve her problems, especially those with her daughter, Paulina. Far from home, Filipino laborers are denied by law any contact with white women. Angie, the young daughter of an illiterate and unmarried mother, knows only one way to make money. And Felix, abandoned by his mother and separated from his only brother, is placed in a foster home on an isolated ranch. The interrelated lives of these people provide a complex, sometimes violent, and often tragic image of American poverty within the nation’s postwar boom.
About The Author
After reading Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment at the age of 17, I knew I wanted to be a writer. But I knew nothing about the craft. My first novel, Happy Birthday Jesús, was published 36 years later. Surprisingly, it received good reviews
For many years, I was a criminal defense attorney and at the end of my career a prosecutor, but I always managed to find time to write. What I saw and experienced during those years often serves as a basis for my writing. For me, learning how to write has been a long, continuous and, at times, torturous process.
Now retired, I try to write every day and I feel fortunate that I have found something in writing that sustains me. I’m glad I persevered during all those years of rejection. More than anything, writing about what I see and experience in life has given me a sense of worth.