I was sent a copy of The Yellow Suitcase by L.W. Clark at no charge. All opinions are my own.
About The Yellow Suitcase:
Twenty-one-year-old Alyssa Florescu wakes up at her impoverished home in Eastern Europe on New Year’s Day in 1995 and decides to change her life. She’s not sure what she should do, but she does know she can no longer live in her country with its tired traditions, lifestyle, and culture―she wants a free and independent life. Inspired by a friend, she decides to go to America. Even though she doesn’t know anyone there and speaks little English, she overcomes her fears and doubts, and within a year she’s off to America with $100 in her pocket.
However, Alyssa’s bravery soon wears off and she starts to second guess her decision as she struggles with loneliness and being away from her friends and family while fitting into a new culture. But as she continues to work for a wealthy family, she becomes mentally stronger, and when she sees Manhattan for the first time, and she’s determined to succeed in her new city.
One cold evening, Alyssa is on the rooftop of a townhouse and she locks herself out. There she encounters Gilles, a wealthy French man. Their relationship grows and they become deep and loving friends. They soon marry, even though Gilles is in another loving relationship. Through this friendship, Alyssa is lifted out of the grinding poverty and loneliness of her life as an immigrant, and into the world of wealth, glamor, and fashion.
While in the Hamptons, Alyssa confronts Gilles about hiding his relationship with Mark, and what it means to be free and in love. As Gilles thinks about his life, Alyssa is contacted by Rachel, an art dealer from Arizona. Rachel and Alyssa strike up a friendship, which leads to a surprising story twist.
Based on real events, the The Yellow Suitcase is an immigrant’s story about love, courage, and freedom. Written in the first person with internal dialogues to expose Alyssa’s innermost thoughts, the story is told through drama, comedy, and self-reliance.
About the Author:
L.W. Clark is a writer who lives in Manhattan, NY.
The Yellow Suitcase is very different from the fiction I usually read but something about the synopsis intrigued me. All of my grandparents came over to this country in the ’30s with similar stories, dreams and ambitions and all of their tales somehow came together to have my mother meeting my father and ta da then I came along. The history of immigration to America is most of our histories when you get down to it.
Alyssa makes the leap and comes to America with very little; very little money, very little English, and very little real knowledge of the true breadth of the country she now calls home. She finds a job but soon her isolation from all that she knew and her lack of friends starts to take a toll.
Alyssa soon meets a man and they marry and this allows her to have a life of her own but her husband is in love with someone else. She knew this going into the arrangement but it still makes her uneasy. Soon, though Alyssa’s life will get turned upside down and as we all know – life is never quite as simple as you might want it to be.
This was a fascinating book that kept me quite engaged. Alyssa was a wonderful character and following her exploits was a great way to spend my reading time.