Monday, July 5, 2010

All the Way Home - Mary Suzanne Lopez


Deep in the rainforests of southwestern Costa Rica, amid the dazzling beauty of orchids and brightly plumed birds, are the lush banana plantations of legendary Coto Valley. Nearby jungles and swamps, teeming with malaria and yellow fever infected mosquitoes, host more than just the huge Coto alligator. Lurking in its leafy shadows are stealthy jaguars, five-foot long iguanas, boas that can swallow a small child whole, poisonous frogs and a staggering variety of venomous snakes, including the most deadly in all the Americas: the bushmaster and its cousin the fer-de-lance. You believe you'll be safe if you just stay within the screened walls of your house high on stilts. What you don't know is that locked inside with you is the most dangerous predator in all of Coto Valley... your new husband!

Title: All the Way Home
Genre: Adult Non-fiction, Memoir
Publisher: Yorkshire Publishing Group
Publication Date: November 3, 2008
My Rating: 4/5

This book starts off with the author first arriving in Golfito, Costa Rica. She had recently married, and was starting a new life in a foreign country with her new husband. She learned Spanish by the seat of her pants, and illustrates how hard it was to learn, and to communicate with those around her, knowing that there was a language barrier. The people of Costa Rica were quite welcoming, and slowly but surely, she adapted to their way of life. I really enjoyed the Spanish to English translations as it did show her struggle with the language. Especially when certain words were misused. It made for some interesting conversations. I also enjoyed learning about the lifestyle, the people, and hidden dangers that abound in that region of the world.
The book follows the life of author Mary Sue, or Maria, after her marriage to Roberto. She quickly came to realize that he was not the doting, and loving man that she had married. He had a horribly abusive side, and he often could be found assaulting her, or threatening to kill her. He enjoyed collecting guns, and left her with the fear that he would one day use one of his beloved guns on her. She raised three children while married to him, and this story chronicles their lives, as well as their eventual escape from him.
She frequently relayed memories from her past, which made reading interesting at times. The book jumped frequently from the past to the present, to the past again; however, we then learned about integral characters that were around her while she was growing up. The backstory helped accentuate the current state that she found herself in.
All in all, this is a heartbreaking read about her struggle to survive, and her willingness to fight for her children. Her faith became the one stable thing in her life. She had a lot of help from God, and some parishioners from the church she was attending at the time. They helped her escape with her children unscathed. It truly was a remarkable, and eye-opening read.

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. Thanks goes to Ryan from Yorkshire Publishing for sending me this copy to review.

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