For Freedom's Sake

A Mother and Daughter's Journey

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 02/10/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Aleida Socarras is the author of two books dealing with life in exile. Aleida's parents immigrated to the United States from Cuba in the late 1960s, wanting to escape Communism and give their children the opportunity to a better life. This experience shapes the stories Aleida writes.

Her first book, WHEN THE FLYING NUN CRASHED, tells the story of three sisters living in the United States but who remain forever attached to their homeland. Her second book, FOR FREEDOM'S SAKE: A MOTHER AND DAUGHTER'S JOURNEY, is a historical novel that provides a dual mother and daughter perspective of the sacrifices made to live in freedom and gives voice to the families whose lives were altered forever by the Unaccompanied Children's Program (Operation Peter Pan).

Aleida graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a degree in Organizational Psychology. She is married and has two grown children. Read Aleida's stories at

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

For Freedom's Sake by Aleida Socarras is a historical fiction novel showcasing the impact of the Cuban revolution on the lives of a mother and daughter. Anne Murphy always felt a little different. Raised by an affluent family, she struggles to feel a sense of belonging and finds herself plagued by visions, triggering her anxiety further. After her father's death, she learns that Mark and Hillary were not her actual parents. Instead, they fostered her from a Catholic orphanage and later adopted her. Determined to find her biological mother, Elena, Anne embarks on a cross-country road trip, meeting people from various walks of life. When a California lawyer invites her to visit Miami with him, she finally gets the opportunity to meet her mother. But is she ready to face reality?

Author Aleida Socarras masterfully incorporates the events surrounding Operation Peter Pan, seamlessly blending them into the narrative to tell a moving story about a mother and daughter's journey to find each other. For Freedom's Sake is an unfiltered look at the conditions in which immigrants belonging to the Cuban American community fled the communist regime in Cuba, under Fidel Castro, to the United States in search of a better life. The story is divided into two narratives. One belongs to Anne and her quest for self-discovery, and the other one follows Elena's story, how she overcame extreme poverty, abuse, and later, government persecution to survive. If you enjoy well-written dramatic stories set around monumental events, For Freedom's Sake is the book for you.

Edith Wairimu

For Freedom's Sake: A Mother and Daughter's Journey by Aleida Socarras chronicles a young woman’s story as she leaves her current life behind to find out about her Cuban family. In 1961, five-year-old Ana Cristina Cruz arrives from Cuba under the Cuban Children's Program (Operación Pedro Pan). She is later adopted by a wealthy couple and given a new name. Anne Murphy is now a law student with a bright future. Her frightening nightmares, however, indicate a darker past, one that she did not know existed. When Anne confronts her adoptive mother about her childhood, her mother’s revelations throw her into a spin. Suddenly, her understanding of herself, her parents, and her whole life is turned upside down. Anne embarks on a journey to find her true self and learn about her origins.

For Freedom's Sake is a powerful historical novel that gives voice to the families whose lives were altered forever by the Unaccompanied Children's Program that took place during Fidel Castro’s regime. Socarras does a great job of providing a dual mother and daughter perspective which shows the desperation of the parents left behind and the heart-breaking experiences of the children who were sent to the United States. I loved that the work explores Anne’s conflicting emotions that depict her as an authentic character who is disillusioned by the secrets held by her adoptive mother and her painful childhood. The events in the story are also relevant today as they touch on immigration issues and the plight of many immigrants. For Freedom's Sake by Aleida Socarras is a heartfelt novel centered on a compelling main character.

Grant Leishman

For Freedom’s Sake: A Mother and Daughter’s Journey by Aleida Socarras is a novel of love, loss, and redemption that truly tugs at the reader’s heartstrings. Anne is the typical daughter of a moderately wealthy family in Delaware. She is attending Georgetown University in Washington D.C., studying law and living in a luxury condominium paid for by her family. When Anne’s beloved father suddenly dies of a heart attack, her entire world is thrown upside down; however, greater turmoil is lurking just below the surface. When her mother, Hillary, explains to Anne that they are not her biological parents and that, in fact, Anne was a Cuban refugee sent to America some twenty years earlier, along with around 14,000 other unaccompanied minors, she is devastated, although it does explain some of the nightmares, depression, and odd memories that she has never been able to explain. Furious with her parents for not telling her of her true birth, Anne, or Ana, as she truly is, decides to abandon everything and travel across the country in a voyage of discovery to find her true self, as well as to decide what all this means to her, why her parents could have abandoned her in the first place, and whether she truly wants to find her real parents or not. So begins Ana’s journey to uncover her true roots.

For Freedom’s Sake is one of those stories that will live long in the memory after one has finished reading it. Author Aleida Socarras has created a character in Ana that is deeply complex and riven with fears, doubts, anxieties, and a severe depressive tendency. As a reader, I became so invested in Ana’s battles that I physically wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake some sense into the girl. Any author that can provoke an emotional response such as this from readers has truly achieved her goal, so plaudits to her. The phenomenon of unaccompanied Cuban minors is one that has been written about by others but the deeply personal nature of both Ana’s problems and her emotional turmoil was so intense and powerful that readers will become deeply entrenched in her plight.

I particularly enjoyed that the author told the parallel story of Ana’s birth mother in tandem with Ana’s story. The travails and hardships faced by Elena back in Cuba as she fought for her freedom, her sanity, and most of all the chance to go to America and find her darling daughter was a wonderful counterpoint to Ana’s own story. I also appreciated the beautiful and delicate synchronicities of Ana’s adventure that the author wove so skillfully through the narrative. One other aspect that I loved was the dynamic in Martin’s own Cuban refugee family, which highlighted for me the different attitudes refugees often adopt toward their former fellow countrymen once they are settled in their adopted country. This was a wonderful, fantastic read that I can highly recommend.