Monday, October 2, 2017

Book Review: 'Left Across the Border' by Patrice M. Foster

Jamaica-born Pennsylvania author Patrice M. Foster comes from an abusive background, having been abandoned by first her mother who fled to America to escape her abusive husband only to be deserted by the father resulting in Patrice and her siblings been placed in abusive foster homes. At age twelve she with her siblings were unsuccessfully reunited with their mother, returned to their father became homeless, and yet survived. Patrice, incredibly, finished school and moved to New Jersey where she entered an LPN program 1986. After graduating, she relocated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she furthered her career by becoming an RN in 1998. She continued her education by pursuing a BSN program at Immaculate University. Aware of the poor treatment encountered by nurses, in 2000, she established her company, Respect Medical Services, through which she committed herself to improve the working conditions and compensation of medical personnel. Her belief was that nurses who were treated and compensated as professionals were better able to perform as compassionate caregivers, thereby creating an environment beneficial to the physical and emotional wellbeing of their patients. Patrice's greatest sense of accomplishment was achieved by securing employment for others. Though she closed her business in 2004, she continues to work as a nurse, as well as traveling the path to healing and self-discovery.

This is the fourth of Patrice’s books this reader has read and they just keep getting better. In this short but very well written and informative book Patrice writes a novel about a girl named Flora who crosses the border from Mexico to a new life in the United States – a very timely and topical subject right now with all the media focus on immigration issues. Bt this is not a political treatise but a supportive guide/novel about the effects of immigration on teens. Perhaps her nursing background encouraged the opening of this book with a discussion about Depression: it is a fine introduction to this series: ‘Sadness and depression are not the same things. In this series of books on teens and depression, we'll take a long, hard look at how easy it can be for a teen to believe they just feel sad when they are actually depressed. Many people, including teens, senior citizens and adults do not always recognize they are suffering from depression. After all, as one source says, "Depression is different from regular sadness because it lasts longer and affects more than just a person's mood." Sometimes, people don't see or realize that sadness has lasted for so long and has become so large that it cannot be as simple as feeling a bit blue or sad. It may have even taken over the person's entire life, leaving them tired, achy, and unable to enjoy any part of life.’ And with that opening statement she proceeds to discuss how to recognize depression, how to get help, and finding solutions and sharing stories.

The story of this novel is Flora’s crossing from Mexico to America and the many barriers to finding happiness and enduring mistreatment, prejudice and bullying in school and in a new and strange land and how Flora enters therapy and finds solace with a fellow foster care person and most importantly finds herself! A very multifaceted book, LEFT ACROSS THE BORDER is essential reading in this time of immigration discussion and issues. Patrice Foster has found a significant role in the repair of our society. Grady Harp, March 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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