So when I picked up In the Country We Love: My Family Divided, I thought for a second that the girl on the cover looked just like Lea Michele, but wasn’t. Then I started reading it. It took me about a quarter of the way into the book, looking at this girl’s pictures from growing up, to realize that she IS an actress, and I know her from Orange is the New Black. So everyone else is probably ahead of me on that, but I would just like to say that this is Maritza from Orange is the New Black (and apparently she’s on Jane the Virgin).
Diane Guerrero parent’s moved, with her older brother, to the United States from Colombia before she was born. Since Diane was born in the United States she was a citizen, but her parents were never able to achieve citizenship. When she was 14, the ICE came and took her parents away. This was a couple of years after her brother was similarly deported. This left Diane to fend for herself in a really crappy area of Boston. DCFS should have stepped in, but nobody seemed to notice that she was alone. She spent several years drifting from friend’s house to friend’s house, all the while getting desperate calls from her parents asking her to move to Columbia. But she had a dream — to be on Broadway — and she did what she needed to do to achieve this dream.
I came away with two main things from this book. First of all, Diane’s parents did everything under the sun to try to gain citizenship. They were not in the United States just goofing around. Her father lost thousands of dollars to a scam artist lawyer. Her mother had similar issues of giving hard-earned money to people who just disappeared with it. And the second lesson is damn, this girl worked hard. She put herself through college, she managed to pay bills living in New York before she got a real job, and she did all of this while suffering from abandonment issues and depression. It’s a really well-written book. She kind of vacillates between talking like a teenager from the ‘hood and talking like a more polished adult. I know she wrote it with some help, but I feel like both voices are hers. It didn’t feel like it was ghostwritten. Anyway, it’s an excellent story about a very hard-working girl in a terrible situation.