My Beloved World
By Sonia Sotomayor
Alfred A. Knopf, 2013
Sonia Sotomayor grew up in the Bronx in the 1950s and 60s, the daughter of Puerto Rican parents, Celina and Juan Luis Sotomayor. This memoir is a coming-of-age story, chronicling her childhood and early adult life, until she became District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York in 1992. She tells the story of her family, education, work history, marriage and the history of Puerto Rico.
Sotomayor is a wise and empathetic woman who, at a young age, learned to listen to others and find commonalities between people that transcend race, class and education. She is also a tireless worker who found mentors at key stages in her professional development and was willing to put herself in challenging situations where she was able to grow professionally. I found her story inspirational. She grew up in such a difficult era for New York, but does not carry grudges about her background. Plus she is an open and honest narrator who delves into what it felt like to blaze the many trails in her life. I don’t want to give away too many details of the book, as I loved how her story unfolded, but some of my favorite moments were her navigating the Ivy League college application process and working as a prosecutor in NYC right after law school. Her mother’s life story is also pretty amazing. And I learned a lot about Puerto Rican history, a topic absent from any US history classes I took.
I picked up this book because although it had been widely reviewed, I didn’t know anyone who had read it. I assume that most of you know who Sotomayor is. This book is a real gem.
I downloaded an e-book version of this book on my Kindle.