Angels Along My Path of Thorns
by Gabriela A. Folgar de Shea
Trafford Publishing

"A curtain descended, there was nothing but blackness; I became a half-alive body body with no soul."

This is a harrowing tale of a young woman's journey into adulthood and the many obstacles she encounters along the way. As an autobiography, it gives excruciating details that only the author would be able to outline. The story takes place in Guatemala which lends to the interest of this novel. Through the plight of young Gabriela we are introduced to a culture many of us aren't familiar with. We see the limited educational offerings and strict outlining of male and female roles which seem to trap Gabriela into a life she very much wants to change. As a young child she vows to do something different: to be educated, to be something other than just a wife and mother, and she sets out to do just that. Unfortunately those around her don't take kindly to what they consider a haughty attitude and seek to change and own her through violence that only the strongest among us could survive.

This story in addition to being a page turner for its entertainment value serves to inspire true hope in its reader. Talk about someone who is down and out and pulls themselves back up, Shea does just that. Great detail supplemented by maps and photos throughout the text take the reader on a journey into a past that most would seek to forget about. The author explores painful relationships with a writing style so precise that the reader feels like they are there in the moment, step by step with her, despite this story being in years past. While no one should be made to endure what young Gabriela has endured, this story educates and inspires with each turn of the page, bringing at least some good from it.

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