This debut novella and religious self-help book aims to help readers rediscover themselves through the stories of two families and the teachings of the Bible.
Rudecindo uses her skills as a storyteller to help guide readers to self-discovery and happiness. She details the trajectories of two fictional families, each hindered by societal prejudices. Laura comes from a wealthy clan; her father is a successful, powerful, and well-respected figure in their rural community. When he decides that she and her siblings need a formal education in order to excel, they move to the city. Although they’re initially excited, they’re soon burdened by their new community’s racism and classism. People mock their dark skin and say they have “ugly” noses, and the family members internalize deep feelings of hurt, thus becoming hardened, negative, and unhappy; Rudecindo explains that they each “had their own ‘crosses’ to bear.” Another family is wealthy and lives in the city. Some locals ridicule their disfigured son, Hector, who becomes the neighborhood bully after he’s alienated by the other children. He bullies Laura and her family, calling them “hillbillies.” Later, Laura moves to America, finds hope in the Christian faith, and goes back to her homeland to spread the Word of the Bible. Although she’s wary of how her family and community will react, she’s driven by her newfound religious inspiration. Rudecindo says that as readers follow the stories of her characters, “they will relate to one of them and learn from their journey the true path to happiness in spite of the circumstances in the world around them.” Although her book will likely resonate more deeply with a Christian audience, as its message is driven by biblical teachings, any reader may appreciate this inspiring narrative of overcoming prejudice. Its uplifting prose addresses how to deal with problems such as identity crises, negative thoughts, internalized feelings of inferiority, and desperation in the face of perceived failure. At the end, Rudecindo offers a helpful interactive section in which readers may write out their reflections on the characters and compare their problems and healing processes to their own.
A useful, quick read, recommended for those who want to connect more deeply with religious lessons and apply helpful prayer techniques to their own lives.