Not From Here

The Song of America

Non-Fiction - Social Issues
392 Pages
Reviewed on 04/26/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Foluso Falaye for Readers' Favorite

Leah Lax's Not From Here is a poignant, mind-blowing collection of tales from people of different nationalities, who share compelling stories about their home country and the opportunities they gained from migrating to the USA. Luisa, who was born at the end of El Salvador’s long civil war, left her family and friends in El Salvador while risking death and abuse on a perilous journey. Binh from Vietnam was tricked into leaving his home but ended up becoming one of the lucky ones who escaped the extreme regimes that formed in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. The stories depict the amazing transformations and the inspiring feats of the protagonists, from facing frightening challenges at home and while traveling to live in a safer country and appreciating the freedom of their new home.

The participants don't shy away from difficult topics but candidly talk about painful ordeals like losing family members, political instability, imprisonment, and abuse. They relate their stories in immersive first-person viewpoints. Additionally, Leah Lax's profound and reflective thoughts are shared alongside the interviewees' stories, allowing the reader to see them from an outer perspective and the emotions they express as they recount their experiences. Not From Here offers a rich blend of history, politics, and culture. As a Nigerian, I appreciated the detailed description of garri, a Nigerian dish, and Ken Saro-Wiwa's movement. Ultimately, Leah's enlightening book highlights the importance of valuing true freedom and peace. I hope these beautiful stories reach every American adult and inspire them to be more empathetic regarding the plight of migrants. Not From Here deserves a plethora of five stars and awards!