My rating 4/5
A memoir. A girl is adopted from a Brazilian orphanage after a life living on the streets of Brazil. Through the eyes of seven year old Christiana the story unfolds describing life on the streets of Brazil with her mother and baby brother. She is placed in an orphanage and finally adopted by a Swedish family.
Quite a good memoir with an interesting theme of Brazilian street children. I found it humbling to read in places. I loved the cave descriptions and the inner world of the orphanage. The experiences she writes of growing up in Brazil and Sweden are well-thought out and not overly-sentimental, which is always a risk with harrowing memoirs. However, it was let down slightly and becomes weaker when describing her life as an adult looking back over her childhood with adult eyes. Then it often became over-burdened with sentimentality and rather tedious, detracting from the book (for me). Fortunately these paragraphs were few. I did like the description of the split, between ‘Christina’ and ‘Christiana’ and the façade of trying to fit into a new world and become what others wanted her to be. That was poignant. All in all an unusual memoir.
How did I come to this book?
Kindle first offer.
‘One strong memory I have from Diamantina is of the bus station. Every now and then, Mamae and I spent the night there. It was around that time that I first understood we were poor and what that really meant. People would look at us funny. Some spit on us as we sat there begging, and for all the world, I couldn’t understand what my mother or I had done wrong’. – Christina Rickardsson