Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Book Review: "Letty's Story" (Leticia Lakusiewicz)

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then the road to heaven is often paved with horrific, unbelievably heart-rending obstacles and setbacks ... and yet, to those who reach heaven, or their idea of it, the battle is worth the reward. 

Letty's Story: Hell to Heaven, is a nonfiction biography (almost a memoir) of Leticia Lakusiewicz, whose idyllic, comfortable childhood in Manila slammed to a halt and took a very different turn when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, during World War II. Within days, the Japanese occupied the Philippines and transformed life from safe and secure to fraught with danger.

The passing years saw Letty lose both her parents, suffer terrible abuse at the hands of family members who should have been trustworthy, learn nursing skills alongside her aunt, marry and suffer further abuse at the hands of a controlling man who nearly kept their four children from her, and eventually grow up and move to the United States, where she went to college and then nursing school, and finally met and married an engineer-slash-surgeon who went on to become a renowned inventor, even after several health scares.

Her true story is poignantly rendered, with tremendous detail, heartfelt patience and grace toward those who made her life difficult or almost impossible, and great care as she relates even the most frightening and intense moments of her life, the ones that really transformed Leticia into the gifted nurse she became.

Lakusiewicz writes mostly from the third-person point of view, telling the story from the perspective of a kind of all-knowing, all-seeing omnipresent narrator, as though she were recording someone else's life story as that person related it to her. Her ability to render on the page the naivete and innocence of the child Letty as well as the brokenness and eventual inner strength and determination of the adult Leticia is expert.

I would wish that a future edition of her work be written with assistance from a professional biographer, someone who could edit out the distracting typos and formatting and streamline the story to give it as much impact and power as possible to readers. Navigating some of the pages, especially later in the book, became difficult with all the bold, italicized, and underlined words, which are normally not a part of a professional manuscript.

Nonetheless, the story is one that deserves to be told if for no other reason than to get to know this woman whose present success and happiness in life is something she owes to her tenacity, endurance, and faith in the face of breathtaking opposition.

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Author: Leticia Lakusiewicz
Title: Letty's Story: Hell to Heaven
Publisher: Tate Publishing
ASIN or ISBN: Unavailable
Purchase here: http://bit.ly/1I6aLIt

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the author in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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