Publisher: CenterStreet

Non-Fiction Book Review | “My Underground American Dream” by Julissa Arce

Posted Saturday, 12 November, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Hachette Books and their imprints, I started by reviewing two releases by FaithWords, their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of [2015] and have been blessed to start reviewing for them.

I received a complimentary copy of “My Underground American Dream” direct from the publisher Center Street (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I have wanted to read this memoir ever since I first heard about it:

I am growing more interested in reading human interest stories, memoirs and select biographies or autobiographies whilst I also find certain topics and subjects in Science are the ones I am enjoying the most to read and discover. When I first saw this release was upcoming this Autumn, I knew I wanted to read it because it was almost as if our current events and the news had converged on this release to bring to light an ongoing topic of narrative about something that affects so many people living in America today.

I had seen a documentary about Latinos living in California and part of the documentary shifted to reflect that some of the families on-camera were currently undocumented. I felt perhaps they should have been featured as I knew their status is always in jeopardy but also, they have so much they have to face everyday, why put their safety at risk by being in a documentary?  I never forgot that particular news feature I had seen within the past year. It was more about culture and art than it was about undocumented immigrants, but still, it had highlighted the issue to an level of insight where you could gather how difficult it was to live with a secret which could affect you so very dearly.

I wasn’t sure what I would find inside – as until I saw the release was pending, I honestly had not heard of Ms Arce’s story. I thought it was interesting how her status changed and how she found success in one of the hardest finance districts – there was an interesting story there awaiting my eyes – that much I knew for sure! It became one of my most anticipated #nextreads and one that I was thankful I had a chance to review for Center Street.

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Non-Fiction Book Review | “My Underground American Dream” by Julissa ArceMy Underground American Dream
Subtitle: My True Story as an Undocumented Immigrant who became a Wallstreet Executive
by Julissa Arce
Source: Direct from Publisher

What does an undocumented immigrant look like? What kind of family must she come from? How could she get into this country? What is the true price she must pay to remain in the United States?

JULISSA ARCE knows firsthand that the most common, preconceived answers to those questions are sometimes far too simple-and often just plain wrong.

On the surface, Arce's story reads like a how-to manual for achieving the American dream: growing up in an apartment on the outskirts of San Antonio, she worked tirelessly, achieved academic excellence, and landed a coveted job on Wall Street, complete with a six-figure salary. The level of professional and financial success that she achieved was the very definition of the American dream. But in this brave new memoir, Arce digs deep to reveal the physical, financial, and emotional costs of the stunning secret that she, like many other high-achieving, successful individuals in the United States, had been forced to keep not only from her bosses, but even from her closest friends.

From the time she was brought to this country by her hardworking parents as a child, Arce-the scholarship winner, the honors college graduate, the young woman who climbed the ladder to become a vice president at Goldman Sachs-had secretly lived as an undocumented immigrant. In this surprising, at times heart-wrenching, but always inspirational personal story of struggle, grief, and ultimate redemption, Arce takes readers deep into the little-understood world of a generation of undocumented immigrants in the United States today- people who live next door, sit in your classrooms, work in the same office, and may very well be your boss. By opening up about the story of her successes, her heartbreaks, and her long-fought journey to emerge from the shadows and become an American citizen, Arce shows us the true cost of achieving the American dream-from the perspective of a woman who had to scale unseen and unimaginable walls to get there.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781455540242

Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Current Events


Published by CenterStreet

on 13th September, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 304

Published by: CenterStreet (@centerstreet)
an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks) via Hachette Nashville

Formats Available: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #NonFiction + #CurrentEvents

About Julissa Arce

Julissa Arce Photo Credit: Vincent Remini

JULISSA ARCE is a writer, speaker, and social-justice advocate. She is the cofounder and chairman of the Ascend Educational Fund, a college scholarship and mentorship program that assists immigrant students, regardless of their immigration status, ethnicity, or national origin. Julissa is also a board member for the National Immigration Law Center and for College Spring. Prior to becoming an advocate, she built a successful career on Wall Street, working at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch.

Photo Credit: Vincent Remini

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Posted Saturday, 12 November, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Brothers and Sisters, Debut Author, Equality In Literature, Father-Daughter Relationships, Immigrant Stories, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Life in Another Country, Memoir, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Non-Fiction, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Siblings, Social Change, Tattoo Art & Design, Vignettes of Real Life

Book Review | “A Place Called Hope” (Hope series, No.1) by Philip Gulley A small towne fiction novelist I’ve been curious about reading!

Posted Sunday, 31 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Hachette Books and their imprints, I started by reviewing two releases by FaithWords, their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of [2015] and have been blessed to start reviewing for them.

I received a complimentary copy of “A Place Called Hope” direct from the publisher Center Street (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I wanted to read a Gulley novel:

I cannot recollect exactly when I discovered the Harmony series by Mr Gulley, but it was during my wanderings at my local library, a book or two from the series kept winking at me to read! Similar to the novels by Ms Whitson, I simply never had the pleasure of soaking inside his novels!

I can honestly say, the most enjoyment I have had in recent years is being caught up inside ‘small townes’ in the fictional worlds authors are treating me to visit! Townes like Cedar Cove (Debbie Macomber), Serenity (Sherryl Woods), Lambert’s Corner (Rosina Lippi), Skye (Jessica Brockmole), Soda Springs (Carolyn Steele), Coorah Creek (Janet Gover), Butternut Lake (Mary McNear), Henry Adams (Beverly Jenkins), Dickinson (Larry D. Sweazy) and serial mysteries that feel like small townes for how much interplay there is with repetitive characters by such authors as: Susan McDuffie, Anna Castle, Susan Spann, Catherine Lloyd, Susanna Calkins, Charles Todd, Tessa Arlen and Anna Lee Huber!

The reason I love small townes has been expressed many times over, but at the heart of what draws me inside small towne fiction is the quirkiness of how the stories are told and the eclectic harmony of how the lead characters are attempting to find their footing or be ever present to the needs of their neighbours and community. Small towne fiction stories are a slice of life that is a step outside the harried pace of our normal lives (unless we’re blessed to live in a small towne where everyone champions each other in unconditional support) where life is a bit easier to take in and where not everything has to be done at the speed of a clock ticking off moments as if they need to be registered somewhere!

I also like the different interpretations of small towne life and how for each community I visit in fiction, I am hoping there are at least ten composite communities out there somewhere that are reflective of the community togetherness that is inside the novel at hand! I find you can dig yourself happily inside a small towne novel (as I mentioned a few one-offs above) or a series (a treasure of a find!) with the glowing joy of knowing your respite inside it’s chapters is going to make you feel light with euphoric happiness for your journey! I suppose in many ways, reading #smalltown #fiction is one of my guilty pleasures as a reader, because I simply find myself put in such wonderful moods after reading them!

Who wouldn’t want an uplift of joy on their bookshelf?!

And, so dear hearts, this is why I wanted to finally read my first Gulley novel! The chance to laugh, the chance to smile and the chance to see what everyone had previously found inside the Harmony novels, as I had a sense that his wit and charm would continue to enthrall us in the Hope series! There is simply something quite keen about finding authors who are writing such realistic stories set in townes that we can all identify with and find readerly happiness in reading!

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Book Review | “A Place Called Hope” (Hope series, No.1) by Philip Gulley A small towne fiction novelist I’ve been curious about reading!A Place Called Hope
by Philip Gulley
Source: Direct from Publisher

When Quaker Pastor Sam Gardner is asked by the ill Unitarian minister to oversee a wedding in his place, Sam naturally agrees. It's not until the couple stands before him that he realizes they're two women. In the tempest of strong opinions and misunderstandings that follows the incident, Sam faces potential unemployment.

Deeply discouraged, he wonders if his pastoral usefulness has come to an end. Perhaps it's time for a change. After all, his wife has found a new job at the library, his elder son is off to college, and the younger has decided to join the military once he graduates high school. Sam is contemplating a future selling used cars when he receives a call from a woman in the suburban town of Hope, Indiana.

It seems Hope Friends Meeting is in desperate need of a pastor. Though they only have twelve members, they also have a beautiful meetinghouse and a pie committee (Sam is fond of pie). But can he really leave his beloved hometown of Harmony?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781455586882

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction


Published by CenterStreet

on 19th March, 2015

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 256

Published by: CenterStreet (@centerstreet)
an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks) via Hachette Nashville

Formats Available: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

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Hope series:

A Place Called Hope by Philip GulleyA Lesson in Hope by Philip Gulley

Readers are mentioning Gulley’s writing style in relation to Karon’s Mitford series; although I never read about Mitford, my grandmother loved reading the series before she died. We shared a mutual love of small towne fiction, and I believe our shared joy in finding small towne fiction to curl up inside is partially why I continue to seek out more from this lovely section of literature. She might not be able to travel with me as I visit each ‘towne’ but I know she’s smiling at me from heaven, happy I continued my adventures seeking writers who know how to write about the nuances of ordinary life!

A Place Called Hope | No.1

A Lesson in Hope | No.2 | Book Synopsis

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Converse via: #INSPYbooks, #QuakerFiction & #INSPYfiction

+ use these two in combo: #SmallTown #Fiction

About Philip Gulley

Philip Gulley Photo Credit: Matt Griffith

PHILIP GULLEY, a Quaker pastor, has become the voice of small-town American life. Along with writing Front Porch Tales, Hometown Tales, and For Everything a Season, he is the author of the Harmony series of novels. Gulley lives in Indiana with his wife, Joan, and their sons.

Photo Credit: Matt Griffith

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Posted Sunday, 31 July, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), CenterStreet, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Equality In Literature, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Modern Day, Quaker Fiction, Quakers, Small Towne USA

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