A Woman Like Me.
A Woman Like Me
9781644388471, $25.99, PB, 608pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Inspired by real-life events, "A Woman Like Me" by Francine Rodriguez is a gritty and dark crime thriller, telling of a warrior's journey. The traveler on this journey is an of a one-of-a-kind disconcerting individual, a transgender, and biracial woman, who is isolated, lonely, and emotionally troubled, a stranger in her own body.
Her crimes of violence are at first, life-preserving, and later become opportunistic as she fights the obstacles that fuel her fear of returning to childhood misery. Our warrior begins her journey in a notorious prison in the Philippines where she is locked up for murder at a young age, with the belief that she will not survive. She is noticed by the prison's warden and selected to fight in the Muay Thai underground prison circuit, where prison and government officials conduct rigged fights for betting purposes.
When a promised journey outside of the Philippines allows her to leave the prison with her warden, she escapes to Bangkok, transitions sexes, and lives, and works in the district infamous for the tourist sex trade. Seeking to find her father, an ex-serviceman, she comes to the United States to begin her search. Here through misrepresentation, and overcoming countless obstacles, she becomes a police officer, and her new identity leaves her living her life in turmoil, struggling to find where she belongs in a field ruled by toxic masculinity, corruption, and cruelty. She attempts to exact justice for victimized children who have been cast aside by the system.
Critique: A veritable saga of a novel from an author with a genuine flair for originality, a distinctive and thoroughly reader engaging narrative storytelling style, as well as an impressive attention to stylistic detail, "A Woman Like Me" by Francine Rodriguez is one of those novels that will linger in the mind and memory long after it has been finished and set back upon the shelf. Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Woman Like Me" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).