Papyrus Press, LLC. $18.00, 365 pages
Veronica’s Diary II: Braving a New World is the third, and most recent of Dr. Veronica Esagui’s books. Having successfully published a scoliosis self- help book and Veronica’s Diary I: The Journey of Innocence, Esagui continues to reflect upon her past, specifically her journey from a Portuguese childhood to an abrupt adulthood in the United States.
In Veronica’s Diary II, Esagui shares memories of literally “braving a new world” as an immigrant, wife, and mother. The book begins at the end of eighteen year-old Veronica’s, or Ronnie’s, childhood. Her culture shock is overtly illustrated as she navigates her new life in New Jersey, so different from the Lisbon childhood she is accustomed to. Ronnie travels to New Jersey to marry her cousin Al, a marriage arranged by their mothers. “I… missed something,” Ronnie recounts, “I [went] from my parents’ nest to being a married woman”. Ronnie’s excitement at the prospect adventure and a new life seeps through the pages, but along with this eagerness comes an underlying voice that longs to recapture her lost adolescence.
Ronnie’s story progresses as she navigates the fears of being a new mother, appeasing an overbearing live-in mother-in-law, and healing from a serious medical mistake. Throughout the book, Ronnie transforms from a teenage girl raised to “have no rights” to speak her opinion into a creative, capable woman. Ronnie starts three businesses, including a music store and dinner theater, fulfills her dream of becoming a journalist, becomes a US citizen, and takes classes at Brookdale College. She becomes known to her friends as “the dream maker,” a name that appropriately captures her visionary personality, and her enthusiasm to apply her creative abilities.
Veronica’s Diary II is a candid, detailed book that offers the most intimate thoughts of an adolescent woman as she finds herself and progresses into adulthood. For those who enjoy the genres of memoir and biography, and seek a slightly more authentic presentation, Veronica’s Diary II is an inspirational, motivating read.
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