Published – May 3rd 2016
Genre – nonfiction
Summary – Diane Guerrero, the television actress from the megahit Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, was just fourteen years old on the day her parents and brother were arrested and deported while she was at school. Born in the U.S., Guerrero was able to remain in the country and continue her education, depending on the kindness of family friends who took her in and helped her build a life and a successful acting career for herself, without the support system of her family.
While the topic of immigration is extremely hot right now – and sensitive and relevant and important – the fact of the matter is that right now 14-year-olds are just being forgotten while their parents are being deported. How does this happen?
It is incredible that Diane Guerrero could be left on her own and navigate her way through school and college, let alone become a well-known actress in her mid-20s. Although her father was able to stay in the country a bit longer than her mom, she basically had to raise herself.
In The Country We Love follows Diane’s story, starting with her childhood. She was a happy child with strong ties with her family and God. But her family always hid when there was a knock on the door and had to be very careful when discussing their plans to get their Visa. Multiple times her parents were told they were close to getting their Visa and each time they were told wrong. They were scammed out of money by people who were “helping” them.
At age fourteen, she came home to an empty home. Her neighbor came over to tell her that her parents were taken. A few neighbors started taking food out of her fridge because they assumed her parents were not coming back home any time soon.
And this was only the start. The road continued to be very bumpy for Diane. Her parents were back and forth between America and Columbia. Diane decided to stay in America and tried to focus on school. She struggled however, including a near-death experience during a low point in her life.
But we all know the ending of this story, right? Diane went on to become star in Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin. Trying out for these roles and life on set is included in In The Country We Love. I enjoyed these chapters. 🙂
The ghost writer, Michelle Burford, was able to bring her story to life and help the book become a smooth read. Michelle also co-wrote a book about Simone Biles, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, and Michelle Knight, a young single mom who was kidnapped in 2002. These are two books I’d love to read as well.
I think the most important chapter in the book was the last chapter, which gives the readers a glimpse into that importance of immigrants in America and what we can do to learn more. Sometimes we read these wonderfully heart-breaking books that leave the reader with no resources to take action after the back cover closes.
Here is the book review I recorded on In The Country We Love:
Learn more about Orange Is The New Black actress Diane Guerrero. Her story, co-written by Michelle Burford, is one we can all learn from. I recommend.