Book Review: Before We Were Free By Julia Alvarez

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I read the book Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez. Anita, an eleven year old girl, is suddenly sent into a very scary and unknown world, right in her own home. Her cousins are running away to the United states, but to get away from what? Her parents are keeping secrets and she tries to get information from her sister, but finds out very little. Anita finds herself struggling when she is forced to grow up very quickly and try not to act as scared as she feels at times. Through the view of a young girl, this story really captures what it’s like to feel like immigration is the only option for a family. In the story, set in the 1960’s, Anita lives in the Dominican Republic, a country with a dictator named el jefe. One day at school, Anita’s cousin is called out of class, and Anita is asked to go with. She finds out that her cousin is leaving for the United States with her family. From there, Anita’s life becomes pretty complicated. Her entire family lives on a compound, each with their own house. With her cousin’s family leaving, her house is the only occupied one left. Everyone has either moved to the U.S. or is missing. Her father tells her they will…show more content…
It also shows some more common ideas, like how all families have secrets, and in just a short time, someone’s life can be turned upside down and they have to find the best way to stay strong for themselves and their families. The most important thing I learned from this book, is how some people in other cultures find life to be very difficult when they are trying to do what is best for their family. Anita kept saying America is the ‘free country’ and I couldn’t agree more. So many people want to come here for so many different reasons, and it makes you realize that if our country is so great that people from all over the world want to move here, we are very lucky to be so highly thought

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