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Posted June 1, 2004
Child of the Dark is a collection of the author¿s, Carolina Maria de Jesus, daily diary entries. Her entries narrate her hardships to make but a few cruzeiros to support herself and her three children and what she goes through as a widow surrounded by greedy men. Throughout most of the diary, de Jesus maintains a gloomy yet hopeful tone with her aspirations of becoming a renown and accomplished writer. No matter how hard she had worked on any given day and regardless of how weary she was or how sad or happy she felt, Carolina Maria always made time for her writing in her diary. She lost hours of sleep just to get a new entry in her journal. It goes without say that her hard work and faith and dedication allowed her to accomplish what she had always wanted: to prove to everyone that women in Brazil, even women who are miserably poor and who live in favelas, are capable of succeeding in life. However, her ultimate goal was to give her children hope of a better life than the one they had previously known, and that of course, she achieved as well. Reading this book was a true eye-opener. It was tremendously inspirational and it made me value the things I take for granted: the food on the table everyday, the roof over my head, my education, and my family. De Jesus¿ diary was merely a peek into the hardships that she had to go through, some of which include poverty, disease, death, and sexual harassment to name a few. As I was reading the book, I would pause occasionally and think of how anyone could endure so much suffering and pain. This book reminded me of how lucky I am to be living in the land of opportunity and equality for all. Despite the great inspiration I got from this book, it was also somewhat boring at times. The author had the tendency to repeat situations over and over and would give never-ending explanations of what words or actions meant in her culture. As I got to the middle of the book, I noticed that the story was not going anywhere. However, it is a diary and it is unfair to seek interest at all times at the expense of the daily suffering of another human. To conclude, this book was very moving and rich in emotion that could make a reader get goose bumps. It was an easy read and I¿d recommend it to anyone.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 28, 2001
This book was introduced to me as part of a required reading for a Latin American course I am taking. It's hard to believe that anyone with so much insight to share about poverty, violence, hunger and the monumental obstacles faced by the poorest of the poor could be so widely ignored just shortly after her success. After reading her story, only understanding her pain at the bare minimum, I still feel her courage, her humility, and her altruistic nature so deeply heroic. She should be placed next to peace leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, not simply because she has advocated equal rights or promoted peace, but for giving the poor a voice, a representation. All of these leaders were spokesmen for one minority group or another, but Carolin Maria de Jesus, even though speaking mainly of favelas, reaches millions of others in the same situation to identify themselves with her. She leads the world in unravelling the repulsive lives of the poor, their miseries and specifically the exclusion they experience from ineffective governments (and ignorant upper-class societies). She has hopefully touched a few, maybe even a small handful, to begin taking aggressive action to help eradicate this significant danger to mankind.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 21, 2001
It's amazing she only had a few years of schooling yet could write with such details and feeling. I started reading and didn't put the book down until I finished the last page.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 5, 2000
De Jesus' account of her life is both sad and uplifting; to see that she kept her morals and made the best of what she had,raising her 3 children in the conditions that she lived in... that's unbelievable! This work is a definite eye-opener to the reality of poverty. Although very graphic, this is a must-read!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.