Island of Dreams: Memoirs of My Life
Island of Dreams is a compelling story of early childhood memories of poverty, abuse, and deprivation in a dysfunctional, broken family. Along with her siblings, author Heidy Ramos was abandoned by her mother in Subic City, Philippines, and sent to live with elderly grandparents. Life with her grandparents was harsh, marred by constant relocation from island to island. Impoverished and destitute, the grandparents had barely enough resources to keep the family fed, much less indulge the children in displays of affection. Heidy was subjected to beatings by a drunken uncle who dominated the grandparents as well. Her only escapes were some happy times at school, playing with friends, and swimming in the ocean.
The return of her mother, accompanied by four other children by her American husband, was the first of Heidy’s dreams to come true, but this joy soon faded when her stepfather rejoined the family. It was clear that her mother was ashamed of her older children, as she told her friends they were her dead sister’s children. Ironically, Heidy ultimately escaped as her mother had, marrying an American sailor and moving to the U.S.
Told in the form of a narrative stream-of-consciousness, the book seems disjointed at some points with somewhat haphazard organization. In a stark, matter-of-fact way, the author paints a portrait, albeit at times sketchy, of the realities of her life as events woven together by her idyllic hopes and dreams for a better life away from the Philippines. Ramos has written her own private accounting of her life for her five children as a legacy of her love for them. She has told of parental neglect, abuse, and the toll taken by ill-health on her, so that they will know their mother, and where she came from.
|Page Count||103 pages|
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|Category||Biographies & Memoirs|