NEVER STOP WALKING by Christina Rickardsson: A Review

This autobiography/memoir, translated by Tara F. Chase, is subtitled “A Memoir of Finding Home Across the World.”  The title originates from advice Christina’s birth mother gave her, “Never stop walking.” In the dedication, the author states, “I dedicate this book to the three women in my life (both her biological and adopted mothers and her best friend) who made all the difference, and to all the street children in Brazil and around the world.” Rickardsson’s story begins on the streets of Brazil and continues the saga as she and her brother Patrick are adopted by a couple in Sweden.

After the adoption, Christina suffers from culture shock and responds by closing herself off from all others in as a protective strategy. At school she fights, bullies and generally acts out. She says, “The pages you turn here are my scream…my struggle to survive.” Like most adoptees, she wonders, “Who are my biological parents and why did they give me up”? When she begins as an adult to search for her birth mother, she concludes “There is a big difference between choosing not to take care of your children and living in a society that doesn’t give its citizens the resources so you can take care of them. ” As she worked through her feelings toward her birth mother on the trip back to her native Brazil, she discovered her mother had bouts of schizophrenia which caused her to leave her children unattended on the streets of Brazil.

The author faced much emotional trauma in her life. As a street child, her best, and only friend, is gunned down by the police in front of her in an alleyway. When her adopted mother died of cancer, she decided to search for her birth mother whom she found living with the mother’s sister, Christina’s aunt. Although there are still questions about her family and her identity in the writer’s mind, many issues have been resolved, or at least brought out into the open. The style is raw at times, always honest, and straightforward as Rickardsson finds her voice. The author’s search continues today as she explores her background, her current feelings, and her future.

Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

One thought on “NEVER STOP WALKING by Christina Rickardsson: A Review”

  1. Thank you for a great review about a search for identity. This is clearly a raw book, and given there isn’t any tidy, happy ending – that must made it one of those books you carry with you…


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