A “searching and emotionally intimate memoir” (The New York Times) told with a candor never before undertaken by a sitting Justice. This “powerful defense of empathy” (The Washington Post) is destined to become a classic of self-invention and self-discovery.
The first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor has become an instant American icon.
In this story of human triumph that “hums with hope and exhilaration” (NPR), she recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a journey that offers an inspiring testament to her own extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself.
Here is the story of a precarious childhood, with an alcoholic father (who would die when she was nine) and a devoted but overburdened mother, and of the refuge a little girl took from the turmoil at home with her passionately spirited paternal grandmother. But it was when she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes that the precocious Sonia recognized she must ultimately depend on herself. She would learn to give herself the insulin shots she needed to survive and soon imagined a path to a different life.
With only television characters for her professional role models, and little understanding of what was involved, she determined to become a lawyer, a dream that would sustain her on an unlikely course, from valedictorian of her high school class to the highest honors at Princeton, Yale Law School, the New York County District Attorney’s office, private practice, and appointment to the Federal District Court before the age of forty.
Along the way we see how she was shaped by her invaluable mentors, a failed marriage, and the modern version of extended family she has created from cherished friends and their children. Through her still-astonished eyes, America’s infinite possibilities are envisioned anew in this warm and honest book.
A satisfying look at the personal history of a fine Supreme Court justice. Sotomayor's elegant prose details the importance of family, determination, and hard work in achieving one's goals. Interesting commentaries on things like public vs private law practice and moral philosophy. A worthy memoir.45
Inspiring, lovely book. I am giving gifts of the book to a number of very bright, mostly African American who when I suggest applying to IVY schools and Stanford never heard of those schools but who deserve to go to them. (My wife & I are Cornell graduates) Thank you Sonia for being you and sharing your story with our book club and so many others.55
Wow! What a beautifully written and inspiring book. I could not put it down!55
This well-written book was inspiring and satisfying from beginning to end. I was awed at the degree to which someone in such a role in our society would lay themselves bare, and honored by the opportunity to be witness to such truth. She clearly achieved her stated goals for the book, while remaining true to her own personality. I feel as though I have come to know her deeply, as one would a friend known over a long time, so unstintingly has she revealed herself and her history.55
Reading this book took me back to my own life growing up in the South Bronx in the early '50's. I could not put the book down. The more I read, the more memories of my own family was awakened. The book is easy to read as well as entertaining and educational. How fortunate for Sonia to have a mother who instilled education in her children. A great example for young parents. A must read for all ages.55
A beautiful and very personal memoir of a remarkable woman who has lived a complex life that many of us can only fantasize about being brave, hard-working and intelligent enough to undertake. Most moving of all is her portrait of her mother- told with compassion and love.toemerge as the parent Justce Sotomayor55
just a girl from the Bronx…who knew?55
A moving and heartfelt story of Sonia Sotomayor’s improbable rise from the Bronx projects to judge on the US District Court in New York (and eventually the US Supreme Court), and her triumph over much adversity.55
I read the hardcover book and I must say this is one of the best books I have read in my life. This book inspires me and Sonia is very humble and very grateful.55
This is a fabulous book that has brought me to tears, especially concerning her cousin, Nelson. Anyone who has experienced abandonment or familial substance abuse will relate with her story. I feel deep gratitude to her for showing how hard work and introspection can be the basis of a meaningful life and provide such inspiration to people from all walks of life. Martha Germain55