A Haitian-born woman explains how she learned to live without fear in this memoir of her highly successful professional life.
Diallo, who now lives in Florida, was born in Haiti but moved to the U.S. when she was 4 months old. Her memoir gets off to a slow start with a dry account of Haiti’s history, but interest builds when she tells of her father, who worked for the United Nations, and her praying mother, who provided the family its religious foundation. Diallo had a mostly pleasant childhood and was a good student, embarking on a life of learning and earning a master’s degree in international relations and diplomacy. Young women, especially, may enjoy reading about her decision to move to Paris for a one-year study-abroad program. Diallo writes that her Christian faith got her safely through many challenges in life, including early sexual threats, professional trials, frightening situations in dangerous locales across the globe—even the very personal challenge of secondary infertility. She’s clearly had a rich, rewarding life, and her cultural perspective is a unique one. When she married a Muslim man, she had both a religious and a civil ceremony. At the civil ceremony, she made clear she did not approve of polygamy and expected a monogamous marriage—which she got. While the book is generally well-written, its prose sometimes reads like a business report. After having worked with development projects in both Haiti and Africa, Diallo writes of her time in Dinguiraye, Guinea: “I scheduled field visits to assess project results and achievements, and I conducted evaluations of all my staff to determine their strengths and weaknesses and discuss their professional goals and aspirations.” Such writing may be common in the business world, but it’s not stirring in the inspirational market. Also, when she does write about her religious beliefs, she references dreams and visions, making the book perhaps best suited for those of charismatic belief.
An inspirational memoir that may leave readers wishing for less resume, more life.