An extraordinary memoir of one woman’s fight to find her true self between the life into which she was born and the one she was given.
Christiana Mara Coelho was born into extreme poverty in Brazil. After spending the first seven years of her life with her loving mother in the forest caves outside São Paulo and then on the city streets, where they begged for food, she and her younger brother were suddenly put up for adoption. When one door closed on the only life Christiana had ever known and on the woman who protected her with all her heart, a new one opened.
As Christina Rickardsson, she’s raised by caring adoptive parents in Sweden, far from the despairing favelas of her childhood. Accomplished and outwardly “normal,” Christina is also filled with rage over what she’s lost and having to adapt to a new reality while struggling with the traumas of her youth. When her world falls apart again as an adult, Christina returns to Brazil to finally confront her past and unlock the truth of what really happened to Christiana Mara Coelho.
A memoir of two selves, Never Stop Walking is the moving story of the profound love between families and one woman’s journey from grief and loss to survival and self-discovery.
My verdict: A brave memoir about a young girl facing her trauma head on and learning about her heritage. Ultimately this book is about family and wether blood ties really matter and about grief and how you can learn new things about yourself by facing your emotions. I think this book sums up how we need to have empathy and sympathy for people before we judge others on their actions when they think they are doing what’s best. I found this book moving and shedding life on the harsh reality of poverty and limited opportunities in Brazil. My heart goes out to Christina who straddles two cultures and find herself having split loyalties to her adoptive parents and her biological parents. Being a teenager is hard enough And having what she perceives as a lack of identity makes it harder. This do you need that Christina takes is to find herself and ultimately test her courage and resilience as to whether she can face the past. Beautifully written, I cried, grit my teeth and cheered as Christina finally put together the pieces of the puzzle of her identity.
The writing overall is very inspirational boarding on almost a self help novel almost speaking to the reader – so fans of mindfulness will love. her advice even if it isn’t direct. I love that Christina does not sugarcoat the circumstances in which Christina finds herself in and that something that I admire as a writer to be able to be as blunt as you can despite others who would want to edit your freedom of speech.