Molding My Destiny by Patrice M. Foster

I gave this book four stars and it’s a great read!  Be sure to check it out at Amazon or Barnes and Noble’s websites!
Molding My Destiny is an inspirational book although I think it fell a little flat in the subtitle From Surviving to Thriving.  The beginning of this book talks about the author’s youth in Jamaica and how America was viewed by Jamaicans cumulating with the author’s mother being selected in a lottery to get to come to America.  The author’s father seems to be a womanizing dead beat dad that eventually leaves all of his children without making any arrangements for them to come to America himself.  Her father not only makes no effort to provide for his children nor to get them to America as the author’s mother does but instead woos at least four women at a time, starts a health food business, and then a church to carry on his false persona.  The children, including the author are left with foster families after trying to care for themselves in Jamaica until their mother finally gets all her children to America…only to more or less abandon them again.  We follow the author as she recounts being homeless in America, the dramatics of her dysfunctional family, and into parenthood with a man who doesn’t really seem to care about her echoing the character of her father.  Eventually the author finds nursing and is able to become independent but not to escape the dysfunctional family life she leads.  The end of the book was slightly disappointing in that it read of a person who was resigned to the fate of the dysfunctional family she continues to be part of although finally venting her opinions and frustrations with them.  It does not strike me as a thriving person but one who is at least starting to come to terms with things in her life and starting to discover who she is despite these things.  I wish her the success of finding that out!  The book was overall well written and edited but has some editing errors however no more than most independent publishers do.  It does not affect the reading of the book.  The characters were well developed although at times I got confused with who was who; the author might consider a family tree somewhere to help audiences to keep track in the next edition.  I felt the author described each of her family members in detail enough to capture who they are as a person.  I would have loved to hear more about the nursing career the author established which helped her to become the independent person she is today.  It is very clear in the book that she holds this profession dear to her and encouraged several other family members to pursue it.  The author talks about her time as a prison nurse and having her own nursing company providing nurses to facilities needing them.  I think it would have been nice to see more interactions from that instead of just reading that she worked there and a brief description of what she did there.  It seems there is always a task to explain things in a memoir of going back in time and then adding what is happening present day with the situation but I think the author did a wonderful job with this.  I feel this book has the potential to be a great inspiration to those who are immigrating to the United States and also to children who have simply had a hard life and need some hope.  It takes a lot to put one’s life out there the way this book has but I believe both the author and those reading will benefit from having done so.

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