TMW Book Reviews

Remembrances of Our Family’s Extraordinary Journeys: Including My Fantastic Voyage To/Through the 8th Grade!


Maria E. Faith

Many of us travel in the hopes of discovering something new within ourselves. In a way, author Maria E. Faith is doing the same by tracing her family lineage in the early 1900s.

Born in 1945 to two Mexican immigrants, the author is the youngest of seven children. In her book, “Remembrances of Our Family’s Extraordinary Journeys: Including My Fantastic Voyage To/Through the 8th Grade!” she recounts her childhood journeys with her parents and older siblings. From her family starting roots in Arizona to going to various farms and ranches in California, she talks about the simple pleasures of childhood and the values instilled in her by her family.

One of the most captivating places she has talked about in her book is Maneadero, a small village quite a few miles south of the city of Ensenada, in Baja California. While living in a rural village is simple and void of urban amenities, the author describes the beauty of the town in a way that leaves you feeling warm and comforted. The people, the values, and the layout all come into life as you turn the pages. I especially love the way she talks about the village’s values and how God, family, and being good neighbors are the pillars of a thriving society. Considering that Maneadero in that time had little governance, such values have made that little town thrive throughout the years.

Aside from the town, she also talks about the people in her life. Despite the pressures of moving for work opportunities, the author notes the many sacrifices her parents made—especially when it comes to keeping the family together as much as possible. Despite the challenges, a loving family will make things work, so long as each person plays their part.

Readers will also be delighted to find various pictures that the author included in the read. Many of these pictures were taken in various times throughout the author’s life in the field, giving readers an idea on what life was like living at various housing options when working at various ranches and farms.

All in all, “Remembrances of Our Family’s Extraordinary Journeys: Including My Fantastic Voyage To/Through the 8th Grade!” is a work of love that anyone can enjoy. During the first few chapters, the author touched briefly on the fact that she had recounted these adventures in class many times. Many students have left feeling appreciative of their lives as they hear her stories while instilling a few “village values” in their lives.

Now that her class presentation is in book form, it’s safe to say why many students enjoy the author’s stories. Her captivating way with words, easy-to-follow narrative, and fun-loving narration style makes it an enjoyable read for all ages. Suppose you want to introduce a new perspective on life’s simple pleasures, family values, and being God-fearing to your little ones. In that case, this book is something worth considering.

– The Moving Words Review

Official Entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 3, 2024