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.

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Author: Rae Longest

This year marks my fiftieth year in AAUW (American Association of University Women). The Alvin chapter was begun in 1947, and as a new, green teacher to Alvin Independent School District, I joined in 1968. In the 80's we began a book group to share our love of reading, books,and fellowship with other women and girls who loved the same. We resurrected the group on-line in September of 2015. Eventually Powerful Women Readers folded as an on-line book club, but I kept the title and turned it into a blog. (See "Introduction,"first blog). This is my first experience at blogging or publishing anything and is becomes more fun with each blog posted. I am currently teaching as an adjunct at The University of Houston Clear Lake. This makes my 28th year there after three years at Alvin Community College and an almost-twenty year career as a classroom teacher with Alvin Independent School District. Reading and writing are "in my blood" just like teaching is. I hope you enjoy the blog.

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…

    Like

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