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Twelve Unending Summers: Memoir of an Immigrant Child

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3.66  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Bahamian. Haitian. American. Where can I fully belong?

At age sixteen, Cholet Josué arrived on the shores of Miami in a wooden boat—and immediately put the past behind him. More than two decades later, the elusive question of identity pursues him, forcing him to confront a difficult truth: the cultures that formed him have each indelibly stamped his soul. Courageously, Chol
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ebook, 194 pages
Published May 8th 2019 by Authority publishing (first published May 2019)
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Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits

The message that shines through Josue's memoir is the importance of education for young people and how, in giving this hope for the future, they can establish themselves of a firm grounding wherever they may be. Josue was born a British citizen in the Bahamas, but travelled with his Haitian parents back to Haiti at four years old. Another country, another language. Then at sixteen, and not of his own volition, he endured a rickety boat journe
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Stephanie(yuqing) Lin
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Let me say,
I was hooked on reading this book and could not put it down after the first few pages. The way Josué describes his emotions, anger, and feelings towards the white man and towards his own family really captivates his experience as a child of an immigrant. The dilemma of assimilation into the American white culture, and preserving his roots is one that many people can relate to. The encountering with the doctors who are insensitive and oblivious to their questions? Relatable, VALID. I
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Never Without a Book
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Bahamian, Haitian- American author Cholet Kelly Josue novel Twelve Unending Summers: Memoir of an Immigrant Child was a read that hit home for me. I am a child of Haitian immigrants and the risk they took to come to the United States for better opportunity and a second chance in life is truly something.

Josue tells us his story of his Haitian/Bahamian upbringing, the loose of his parents, his arrival to a new world at the age of sixteen and his prostitute to live that “American Dream”. Although
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Karen Whittard
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book tells the story of the struggles and difficulties that an immigrant has to face. Even trying to get into your country in the first place and every step their after. It will open your eyes to their struggles and the incredible amount of strength that they have all for the purpose of creating a better life for them. Deeply moving an beautifully written. Make sure you have tissues at hand.
Théo M. (bookswiththeo)
I received an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

"Twelve Unending Summers" by Dr. Cholet Kelly Josué is quite a powerful memoir.

The premise of the story surrounds the life of a Bahamian-born, Haitian man who is trying to come to terms with his identity, as he has lived the U.S. and schooled in the U.S. for a great part of his life. Truly, the story is a story about trying to find one's own identity when that identity is stretched between three very different countries.

This book was v
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Barbara Tsipouras
Does the country we grow up in define our identity? How much does our heritage shape us and what's the influence of the country we now live in? Will immigrants always be "the other" or is it ever possible to fit in? And at the some time maintain ones own cultural identity? These are questions all immigrants can relate to.

Besides his individual story the author tells us about Haiti, the difficult immigration process and racism in the USA, even blacks against blacks, being poor and the value of ed
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Emi Bevacqua
Dr. Josue is an especially earnest autobiographer, I really felt for him through all his travails and at this time in history it is so important that we listen to and learn about the experiences of undocumented illegals. As a bi-racial American born abroad, I can relate to Cholet's pleaful bid to find his true self. I am heartened by the fact that he has family with him in America, I hope they have all managed to get legalized somehow as well.

I do think this book would have been easier to read
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Meenu Annadurai
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this review copy by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley.
“Those who have been given great gifts, also carry heavy burdens.”
Twelve unending summer : Memoir of an immigrant child by Dr. Cholet Kelly Josue, MD is a soul-stirring memoir of the author which will make the readers feel all the emotions he underwent, as it was. The cultural and emotional instability a child undergoes when exposed different lifestyles and geographic regions has been written down st
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Isabelle
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Twelve Unending Summers: Memoir of an Immigrant Child by Cholet Kelly Josue is a book that hit just the right spots for me. In the prologue, he posed the questions “Where did I fully belong? Where could I call home?” As a fellow immigrant that also came to the US as a teenager, his story really resonated with me. While I do not come from a country as poverty stricken and in shambles as he speaks about Haiti being, I understand some of the confusion he felt of being torn between different culture ...more
BooksAndRae
May 04, 2019 rated it liked it
I received an arc of this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read this book.

It was interesting to read about the life of the author but throughout the whole book I could just feel something was missing.

I wasn't fully emersed in the story and found myself browsing past a few parts and I think it was due to how the story was structured and layered out to read.

It was different and eye opening, reading about Haitian
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Samantha
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Twelve Unending Summers is a memoir by a Haitian-Bahamian-American man as he explores his tangled sense of identity and self. He discusses illegal immigration and being sent away from home and losing the most important people to you.

It's a very interesting read and it's actually quite short. There are a couple chapters near the beginning that drag a little but overall it's a moving memoir that's full to the brim of life.

(Thanks to NetGalley for giving me an advanced readers copy in return for a
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Aditi
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a brilliant book, a memoir from a Haitian immigrant. Cholet Kelly Josue writes with passion and Twelve Unending Summers is relatable for any 1st or 2nd generation immigrant struggling with finding themselves. A recommended read for lovers of Malala Yousafzai's novel(s) and memoirs in general.
Nina
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley for this opportunity.

Dr. Cholet Kelly Josué, a Bahamian man of Haitian descent, pens this very personal memoir of his struggles to find his identity between his three "homes": Haiti, Bahamas, and the US. He has spent a greater part of his life in the US where he completed his studies and continues to work full-time.

Josué carefully describes the racial tension that exists in the places he grew up. Those in Haiti don't
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Laila
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, memoir
Thank you to NetGalley for the free review copy of this book.

“I had begun to entertain in my mind’s eye the notion that maybe, just maybe, amid America and the Bahamas and Haiti, I might create a home where I could totally, truly belong.”

Josue was born in the Bahamas, raised in Haiti, and sent to join his mother in the United States as a teenager. His memoir explores his search for identity and belonging, while navigating the complex education and immigration systems in the United States.

It is
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Rhiannon
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fic
This was a very emotional and important read espcally in todays society. I felt the pain and the emotions that this meomir had in it. I felt the struggle of not belonging and finding your own identy in this world when you have moved around a lot. I think that everyone should read this and a a society we should treat our Immigrants with Respect and understanding. some of them do work hard but also struggle to call somwere home this is what this book conveys. 4 out of 5 stars from me. Thanks to ne ...more
Hope
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
https://bound2books.co/2020/02/05/twe...

When I first got this book, the controversy that surrounds the novel American Dirt and immigrant stories had not yet come to the surface. Yet, the conflict surrounding Jeanine Cummins’ novel is not really anything new. Since before post-colonialist studies became stronger in academia, and since immigrant and marginalised voices started talking about their experiences there has always been a question of who is allowed to speak, and more specifically, what a
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Mandie
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a white woman from NYC, I don't have much in common with Dr. Josue except for one major similarity: not being from just one place and trying to identify oneself according to where one is from. I've bounced around Queens and Brooklyn all my life and now am a Californian transplant. Dr. Josue's book has made me reflect on my own upbringing and background, and has invited me to consider what parts of me are from where. I enjoyed this book so much. It was a lovely read and I found such delight in ...more
Jo
Aug 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Twelve Unending Summers is an open and honest memoir about the author's childhood as he moves from the Bahamas, to Haiti and takes a boat across the sea to America. He tells of his struggles and the challenges he faced throughout the years as he learned about life in America and what his place was.

There is clearly so much more to tell and I'd love to hear more of his tale.
I feel we hear the stories of immigrants all too often on the news, but never really hear their personal story. It's import
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Ivana BM
Aug 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Although the author himself is really an impressive character and the story of his coming to America and becoming a citizen is indeed a story of sucess and persistance, I found the writing a bit confusing. It took me time to get through first few chapters and although I got caught up in it afterwards, I still feel like its missing someting.

Anyway, I reccomend it as a way to learn more about Haitian lifestyle and as a short insight in a immigrants way of life / story of a succes.

Thank you NetGa
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Jo
Aug 08, 2020 rated it liked it
It took a while for me to get into this one but I'm now intrigued to know the next part of the author's story. He tells of how he moved from the Bahamas to Haiti as a child, then was put on a boat to America where he found football and family to be the constants in his life while he sought an education and legal status. This was a raw and honest account of his struggles and the challenges he faced, while acknowledging the strong culture and values he carries with him.
Sara
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very interesting and heartfelt account of the authors journey from the Bahamas to his ancestral home of Haiti and then to America as an illegal immigrant. Not at all surprised that surviving a tropical storm in the Caribbean Sea en route to Miami in a wooden boat was FAR less horrifying than his trials once he arrived in the States.

Kristin
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Twelve Undending Summers is a raw and honest memoir about being an immigrant, ending up having several identities and not quite fit into any of them. It's also a book about hope, courage and doing what you got to do in order to survive.
Angela Kitchin
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was so excited about this book. Josue's story is important. But the writing was elementary and confusing. All I could think while reading it was how disappointed I was by the writing and how disappointed I was that so much meaning got lost in the jumbled stream of consciousness writing. Sigh.
Nikki
Plan to use for the 2020 BYL Reading Challenge prompt: Read a book about the immigrant experience
Madeline Lacy
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Kelly Josue’s memoir because I learned about Haitian culture and pieces of the country’s history. I also learned about the Bahamas from the short time Josue was living there. I think it’s an important book for everyone to read and learn about what immigrants go through in the U.S. You can also read it to learn about how the U.S. affected Haiti’s history as well as how strong the Haitian people are after being put through so many changes throughout their history.
Teresa
rated it liked it
Sep 11, 2019
Erin
rated it liked it
Mar 08, 2020
Christina Stockard
rated it it was amazing
May 24, 2019
Melissa Cheresnick
rated it really liked it
Aug 11, 2019
Joyce
rated it it was ok
May 23, 2019
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Cholet Kelly Josué is a Bahamian-born Haitian American author and physician seeking a home among the three cultures that have played a role in his life.

At age 16, he was sent across the Caribbean Sea in a wooden boat to join his mother in South Florida after the death of his father. While still an undocumented immigrant, he earned a bachelor of science degree, then represented himself in the tria
...more

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