This is a story that show just how far we will go for our children. Jessica does a great job pulling the reader into her time living in Guatemala to bring her daughter home. As a fellow adopter of a daughter of Guatemala, I was especially interested in her descriptions of what goes on behind the reception desks in a Guatemalan adoption.
O’Dwyer had the financial means to do what many other adoptive parents could not and that is to live in Guatemala while waiting for the adoption to be finalized and to return often to Guatemala. This gives Mamalita a perspective not found in many other adoption memoirs.
If you are looking for a feel-good, quick-read, possible tear-jerker at the end this is a book for you. O’Dwyer goes into a little more detail than maybe she needs to. If this were a movie, it would have a PG-13 rating. If you are considering international adoption from any country, I recommend Mamalita. This is not a “how-to” but a blunt account of the person you might need to become to bring your child home.
As a side note: O’Dwyer was about six months ahead of me in publishing my memoir. I sent her several emails asking questions of a fellow first-time author. Finally, she wrote me back, gave me her cell phone number, and we talked about our stories and the book process. I am adding this because she might come across as a nastier person in the book, but that is not who she is “in real life”.