Molding My Destiny

A Story of Hope That Takes One Child from Surviving to Thriving

Non-Fiction - Inspirational
219 Pages
Reviewed on 12/20/2016
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Author Biography

Patrice Foster’s life reads like an adventure novel that might have been entitled, “Journey to Respect’. Born in Jamaica West Indies, she and her five siblings were abandoned when her mother fled to America to escape her abusive husband, who then later abandoned his children. Patrice and her siblings were placed in foster homes and subsequently shuffled from one uncaring and abusive family to the next. Entrusted to the care of an uncle, young Patrice became close with an American missionary in the hopes of communicating with her mother in America.
When Patrice was twelve, she and her siblings were finally reunited with their mother, but it was not the happy reunion of their dreams. Obligated to find other living arrangements, the situation eventually deteriorated until Patrice ran away to live with their father.
After finding herself locked out one day, Patrice became homeless and struggled to survive. Her life on the streets was a dangerous and discouraging time, yet despite her hopeless situation, she managed to finish school and moved to New Jersey where she entered an LPN program 1986. After graduating, she relocated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she furthered her career by becoming an RN in 1998. She continued her education by pursuing a BSN program at Immaculata University.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Molding My Destiny by Patrice M Foster is an inspirational story that is as relevant to this time and age as it is encouraging, and there is no doubt that many readers will resonate with the message of the book. This memoir tells the story of an immigrant, a Jamaican girl who leaves her native home, reminiscent of the sounds of reggae, to travel to the land “of milk and honey,” where dreams are fulfilled. But would the America of her dreams be the solution to all her problems? With beauty and subtlety of language, Patrice M Foster takes readers through her heartaches, deceptions, abuses, and rejection to ultimately underscore a powerful message of hope, a message that she translated into her own life and one that helped her transform her depression into a beautiful experience — we are the architects of our own destiny. Readers get a feel of life in Jamaica. Writing about her childhood and her irresponsible father who drove his Volkswagen around, “the love buggy,” picking up women or getting into debt, allows her a beautiful social commentary of her milieu and she does so with detachment and humor.

Patrice M Foster’s memoir, Molding My Destiny, is a book that every immigrant should read, a book that can stop millions from surrendering to the river of depression. It will help many people to stand up for themselves. The prose is simple and eloquent, and as one reads, one can feel the current of energy impregnating every word. This book, slim as it may be, was able to help me identify some of the illusions I have carried with me for many years. Life doesn’t just happen. We create it. We can use every negative experience to steer us towards the place we want to be. This is an incredible memoir written to give hope and strength to the despairing. A highly recommended read for the start of a new year.

Arya Fomonyuy

Molding My Destiny by Patrice M Foster is an inspiring memoir that could well be considered the voice of many immigrants and young people growing through fear and uncertainty. Like many young people of her generation growing up in Jamaica, Patrice believed that life in the US would be heaven, implying less work, more money, and freedom. Or at least, that is what she believed when she and her siblings embarked on the journey in pursuit of the American dream. She chronicles, in a very sincere and honest way, her hurts growing up, her feelings of rejection in love, her low self-esteem, and her depression. But she also tells the story of how she transformed the depression into something positive, turning her story into a success, a message of hope for many.

I enjoyed the honesty with which the author tells the story. I enjoyed the role others played in her life and the fact that she recognizes the place of relationships in one’s journey towards creating a life of one’s dreams. One of the interesting things about this memoir is that it establishes a powerful contrast between the life back in Jamaica and the one in the US. The author takes time to deconstruct the illusions she had growing up and her journey through pain to healing will inspire many readers, especially immigrants.

The memoir starts with a powerful premise, presenting a struggling family that has to change homes because of failure to pay rent. Readers immediately know that the life of the narrator and her siblings can’t be normal because of the irresponsible ways of their father, who is more concerned about “picking up women” than nurturing his home. Molding My Destiny is confidently written, a story that encourages readers to become architects of their own destinies. Patrice M Foster eloquently shares the inspiring message that our choices define our success and not what happens to us. A great and excellent read!

Christian Sia

Molding My Destiny: A Story of Hope That Takes One Child from Surviving to Thriving by Patrice M Foster is a compelling memoir of one person’s fight against despair, the triumph of hope and hard work. It is a moving message that we all have the power to transform our lives. Growing up in Jamaica, Patrice M Foster experienced poverty and hardship from close quarters, with an irresponsible father who cared more about his women than the family. When the opportunity to follow their mother to the United States presented itself, Patrice believed life would change forever and for the best, little knowing that greater challenges lay in the new land of their dreams and freedom. In this beautiful and inspiring story, the author documents her struggles, her sense of rejection, the abuses, and many setbacks that drove her to the edge of insanity. But it’s how she turned her despair into hope and found the strength to thrive that will surprise readers.

Patrice M Foster’s writing is very beautiful and accessible, a voice that is as captivating as it is authoritative, and there is not one iota of doubt that she writes from inside experience and that her faith in life has been refined through the crucible of suffering. Molding My Destiny: A Story of Hope That Takes One Child from Surviving to Thriving is a story that will speak straight to the heart of young immigrants, especially blacks, striving to build their dreams in the United States, but it also has a powerful message that will bless many lives. It is an enjoyable and inspiring read.

Joel R. Dennstedt

Sometimes a story is so basic and compelling that one must automatically make allowances for a certain grammatical lack of sophistication. In fact, that perceived lack may very well be required in order to convey the deep honesty and authenticity embedded in the story. Such is the case with Molding My Destiny by Patrice M. Foster. This memoir of a Jamaican child eventually translated to America is authentic to the core, and her story is just as disturbing as it is redeeming, filled with both the agonizing realities of an abusive childhood and the little gems of wisdom gleaned from a now-grown author; stated here with the simplicity of a thoroughly honest, lifetime re-appraisal: “It is sometimes better to be alone in the world than face the pain and heartache of betrayal by those you trusted.” “The choices you make impact every aspect of your life, your beliefs, and your self-esteem.”

Molding My Destiny might be read as a lengthy journey into wisdom and independence as told by Patrice M. Foster, but the journey itself reads like the diary of a child unfairly cursed, and therein lies its inordinately compelling power. One of six children buffeted by a truly brutal childhood, Patrice almost singlehandedly wills herself to leave what seems a predetermined path to hell and to move herself to one of self-discovery and achievement. Sometimes a brutal life creates an invulnerable, enduring soul. Sometimes it provides the over-heated foundry in which a durable person is fashioned and then tempered. The satisfying if inconclusive climax to this oftentimes heart-rending tale comes from watching its gutsy survivor make diamonds out of coal. A most compassionate lesson for those who suffer beyond the norm.

Gisela Dixon

Molding My Destiny by Patrice M Foster is the autobiographical story of Patrice’s life and experiences growing up. Patrice is the youngest of six siblings and was born and raised during her first years in Jamaica. Although they were a middle-class family, things quickly deteriorated when her mother immigrated to America. Her father abandoned the children after that and the children were all separated and placed in foster homes. Once Patrice immigrated to New York as well to join her family, she thought her troubles would be over, but it was only the beginning of more abandonment, poverty, neglect, abuse, rape, and prostitution. Battling depression for most of her period during that time, Patrice still managed to receive an education and become a nurse. This is her story as she makes peace with her past and strives to be a good parent to her children.

Molding My Destiny by Patrice M Foster is an engaging read and the story certainly deserves to be told. Patrice is a courageous woman and her writing is genuine, simple, and from-the-heart. As she recounts her darkest days, including sexual abuse and depression, it is heartening to see that she was able to come out of it and learn lessons to become a good parent to her own children. The book is written in first person and has quite a simple style of writing, which is very relatable. A book like this will hopefully inspire others that have undergone trauma or abuse to feel that there is still hope out there. A great and inspiring read and one that I would definitely recommend!