The Journey Home: A Memoir
by Patrice M. Foster

"When my mother left us in Jamaica, she believed our father was there taking care of us, but when he left to go to America, he abandoned us. We were eventually separated and placed in boarding homes all over the island ..."

Foster shares a heartbreaking story of six brothers and sisters and their older half-brother deprived of any sense of familial love as they strive to survive on their own in Jamaica and New York. As the youngest member of the family, Foster might have been able to expect always having someone around to protect her, but even she is left to fend for herself and fight to protect her older sister, as the siblings attempt to make sense of a father who cared nothing for them and a mother whose efforts were always too little, too late, and always misdirected.

While the journey and emotions of the story are felt strongly throughout, there was some difficulty tracking the timeline in the second half, involving understanding events as they occur and relationships, for example, between the author's three children. However, it does not remove any of the significant meaning from the story itself. As a memoir, the text contains little in the way of dialogue and appropriately remains focused on the difficult journey Foster took to finally reach a place of security for herself on a physical, mental, spiritual, and professional level. Amazingly enough, the author does eventually find a path to success, independence, health, and contentment despite the harsh realities of her youth. Her journey is inspiring yet realistic, promising nothing without hard work and ending in a better place, albeit not perfect. You'll close the covers with a sense of hope and happiness that this individual was able to find a good life in spite of it all and finally achieve her dreams.

Return to USR Home