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Infinitely More by J. Francisco

four stars

Screen Shot 2017-03-30 at 2.10.23 PMJ. Francisco’s Infinitely More is a powerful story of overcoming obstacles and finding the beauty and meaning in even some of the darkest and most hopeless situations that life presents. Infinitely More is a memoir of Francisco’s life written as a brief collection of short stories and memories. Francisco’s journey through life begins in a small town in Brazil where she speaks only Portuguese and lives with her mother and two sisters. While Francisco’s father is not always around, his presence is a constant pressure, leading every member of the family to feel fear, rejection, and disregard for their feelings. Her father is a consistent figure throughout all of her stories, even when he is not physically around. He shapes Francisco and changes her in more ways than she can know at the time. In many ways, her father is the force that drives her to become more than she ever thought possible, making her want to be more than just a scared little girl in a small town in Brazil. With dreams of continuing her studies and learning to speak English, Francisco begins to realize that while the path in life may not always be clear, if you have faith and persevere, life can provide infinitely more than ever expected.

Francisco’s writing is straightforward and honest, with no holds barred. She writes openly and frankly about experiences such as abuse, poverty, and postpartum depression. While there is not much character development in any character other than herself, the growth that Francisco reveals in her story is enormous. The chapters are all rather short, and provide vignette-like snapshots of Francisco’s life as she was growing up in Brazil with a family who was not always easy to deal with. While the story could use a thorough edit, it is still a moving and inspirational piece that many are sure to relate with.