My Beloved Life is yet another outstanding achievement Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has realized in her lifetime. Sonia Sotomayor became an "instant American icon" after being appointed to the Supreme Court in 2009. She is the third female and first Hispanic justice selected in the Court's 224 year history.
Sotomayor's life circumstances did not foretell her many successes. She grew up in poverty in a Bronx housing project, lost her father at age nine, and was diagnosed with a chronic illness—diabetes—when she was just seven. Sotomayor has said she wrote the book to let other "ordinary" people with life challenges know that they, too, can fulfill their dreams.
In its history 353 books have been written by Supreme Court Justices, but never before has one been so personal: intensely examining and illuminating one's own personal experience. My Beloved Life covers Sotomayor's childhood and life up until she became a federal judge; it's about developing an identity, a coming of age story. Her life—and her book—are an eloquent testament of a childhood dream realized through exceptional dedication and drive.
Sotomayor's writing is expressive, powerful and engaging; the memoir reads like a novel, with prose-like details of family parties, childhood friendships and arguing parents. As her mother grew more frustrated with her father's alcoholism, she began working nights and weekends to avoid being in the home and leaving little Sonia feeling abandoned. The young Sonia realized that in this uncertain and unstable environment, she would have to rely on herself.
Years later, on a visit to Harvard when checking out colleges, Sotomayor was so overwhelmed and felt so out-of-place, she literally ran out the door. She said later that her mother had taught her that "a surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence." And so she soldiered on, ultimately graduating from Princeton University and Yale Law School.
Like her life, Sotomayor's book is fascinating. Prior to My Beloved World, Sotomayor's life was also chronicled in Una Sabia Decision (A Wise Decision) in 2010, also available here at Audiobook Store.
The first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the United
States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor has become an instant American icon. Now,
with a candor and intimacy never undertaken by a sitting justice, 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, destined to become a classic of self-invention and self-discovery. Download and start listening now!