Paradise Taken

Paradise Taken: The Diary of Eden Flores Part I by [Omar Gonzalez]

In Paradise Taken author Omar Gonzalez tells the story of an American girl born to a naturalized Hispanic father. The author describes him as a physically abusive companion to his wife and his children. When their mother leaves them with their father, he escalates his alcoholism and physical violence. His daughter, whom he prefers, dresses like a boy and becomes the subject to his sexual violence. She does not disclose this to anyone, and it eats at her. When they finally leave their dad to go to their uncle’s, they are reunited with their mother, and some semblance of closure is achieved.

Paradise Taken is an emotionally-charged memoir that progressively escalates the plot by explaining the main protagonist’s life from different points of view. The narrator portrays her abusive father as a rounded character, protective and caring for his family but also a drunk, violent, and a sexual offender. In this way I think the book does a great job of showing the duality of a person.

I like how the author extracts from Eden’s journals in the chapter “Like a Boy,” giving a glimpse into what it was like, living in a constantly oppressive environment—added to the fact that they are also immigrants. A bias that exposes their dad to a racist interaction with a police officer. 

The way the author uses the third person perspective to highlight this family’s development gives readers first-hand experiences of the oppressive environment they were in. The letters by the protagonist make the pain of her abuse along with that of her mother’s are very relatable.

Paradise Taken is a remarkable translation of Eden’s story from her diary. This is a stirring and thought-provoking biography that is relatable across genders and social structures. This is an illuminating and impassioned story that is guaranteed to stick with you long after you have put the book down.

Pages: | ASIN: B09CW9P87B

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The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on December 4, 2021, in Book Reviews, Five Stars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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