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“Offers hope in the face of desperate odds” – ELLE Magazine, ELLE’s Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2020
“[D]isturbing and unforgettable memoir…This wrenching story brings to vivid life the plight of the many families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.” – Publisher’s Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
“[The] haunting and eloquent…narrative of a Guatemalan woman's desperate search for a better life." -Kirkus, STARRED Review
Compelling and urgently important, The Book of Rosy is the unforgettable story of one brave mother and her fight to save her family.
When Rosayra “Rosy” Pablo Cruz made the agonizing decision to seek asylum in the United States with two of her children, she knew the journey would be arduous, dangerous, and quite possibly deadly. But she had no choice: violence—from gangs, from crime, from spiraling chaos—was making daily life hell. Rosy knew her family’s one chance at survival was to flee Guatemala and go north.
After a brutal journey that left them dehydrated, exhausted, and nearly starved, Rosy and her two little boys arrived at the Arizona border. Almost immediately they were seized and forcibly separated by government officials under the Department of Homeland Security’s new “zero tolerance” policy. To her horror Rosy discovered that her flight to safety had only just begun.
In The Book of Rosy, with an unprecedented level of sharp detail and soulful intimacy, Rosy tells her story, aided by Julie Schwietert Collazo, founder of Immigrant Families Together, the grassroots organization that reunites mothers and children. She reveals the cruelty of the detention facilities, the excruciating pain of feeling her children ripped from her arms, the abiding faith that staved off despair—and the enduring friendship with Julie, which helped her navigate the darkness and the bottomless Orwellian bureaucracy.
A gripping account of the human cost of inhumane policies, The Book of Rosy is also a paean to the unbreakable will of people united by true love, a sense of justice, and hope for a better future.
Rosayra Pablo Cruz is the mother of four children. She owned a small clothing store in Guatemala before coming to the U.S. Now living in New York, she is the co-president of her oldest son's Parent Teacher Association and is active in her church and community. She has applied for asylum for her and her sons and is in the middle of legal proceedings.
Julie Schwietert Collazo is a bilingual (English-Spanish) writer, editor, and translator, and a former creative arts therapist. She has co-written and edited a book about Pope Francis, which has been translated into more than a dozen languages and is a bestseller in Italy. Her work has appeared in a number of media outlets, including Outside, Scientific American, Discover, Latina, The Guardian, and Time, and she has contributed to several books. She lives in New York City.