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Reviewed by Nandita Keshavan for Readers' Favorite
Until the Brighter Tomorrow is an inspiring true story of one woman's rise to success in difficult circumstances. Valerie Rainford tells of her humble beginnings, the struggles her family encountered, her parents' divorce, and how she and her mother lived apart from her father and brothers in New York City. Despite financial adversity, her mother remained strong but stern, and worked several jobs to provide for herself and her daughter. Subsequently, she entered into an abusive marriage, but Valerie saw her mother emerge from this and break free.
Valerie was brought up being told about the importance of independence and picking her partner carefully, and these were messages she took to heart. Living in the Bronx, she was exposed to an environment where teenagers were smoking pot and some were getting pregnant before marriage. When her mother caught her smoking pot the first time and punished her, she had a big wake up call and decided to work hard to be able to afford to go to a better school than what they could usually afford.
She was admitted and she worked very hard, and continued on to college and an excellent career in the banking industry. She climbed the corporate ladder and she became a top executive. That's when she decided to give something back to the community she came from, to motivate people from underprivileged backgrounds. By telling them her life story, she hoped to help them to be more aware of the opportunities they have and how, if they have hope and determination, they can overcome very difficult challenges in life.
The book itself is well written and the events are heart wrenching and gripping. It begins with young Valerie, a young banker who is newly married to the love of her life. As it progresses, she goes deeper into her past, and the difficulties she endured to reach this level of success. She suffers two major losses, both of which have life changing consequences and challenge her stability at her very core. As you read, you yourself will join her in her quest to understand these events and gain a sense of hope and faith in the purpose of her life.
By the end, you will truly admire her effort, not only to be successful and happy, but also to inspire others around her to seize the opportunities given to them or create opportunities despite difficult circumstances. She not only recognised the strength in her grandmother and mother, but she used their support to build her own inner strength and use it to support and uplift others. This is a moving story and one which I hope will continue to inspire people to reach beyond the limits of adversity.