Book Reviews

The Book of Rosy: A Mother’s Story of Separation at the Border by Rosayra Pablo Cruz & Julie Schwietert Collazo

Compelling and urgently important, The Book of Rosy is the unforgettable story of one brave mother and her fight to save her family.

When Rosayra “Rosy” Pablo Cruz made the agonizing decision to seek asylum in the United States with two of her children, she knew the journey would be arduous, dangerous, and quite possibly deadly. But she had no choice: violence—from gangs, from crime, from spiraling chaos—was making daily life hell. Rosy knew her family’s one chance at survival was to flee Guatemala and go north.

After a brutal journey that left them dehydrated, exhausted, and nearly starved, Rosy and her two little boys arrived at the Arizona border. Almost immediately they were seized and forcibly separated by government officials under the Department of Homeland Security’s new “zero tolerance” policy. To her horror Rosy discovered that her flight to safety had only just begun.

In The Book of Rosy, with an unprecedented level of sharp detail and soulful intimacy, Rosy tells her story, aided by Julie Schwietert Collazo, founder of Immigrant Families Together, the grassroots organization that reunites mothers and children. She reveals the cruelty of the detention facilities, the excruciating pain of feeling her children ripped from her arms, the abiding faith that staved off despair—and the enduring friendship with Julie, which helped her navigate the darkness and the bottomless Orwellian bureaucracy.

A gripping account of the human cost of inhumane policies, The Book of Rosy is also a paean to the unbreakable will of people united by true love, a sense of justice, and hope for a better future.


Thank you Bad Bitch Book Club for recommending this remarkable and powerful read. It was so moving to read Rosy’s story and learn of a persistence that this woman should’ve never needed. The Trump Administration’s zero tolerance policy is inhumane and directly hurts real people like Rosy and her children. 

The Book of Rosy rips the band-aid off of the gaping wound of the immigration system in America. I truly cannot imagine the hurt and the trauma her and her children were forced to endure, as they came here in search of a better life. Rosy details the life she left behind and the unraveling of her journey to America.

Ultimately, this book was so incredibly powerful and every American who’s had the privilege of being born here should pick it up. There is an entire reality of pain we are subjecting mothers and children to. I have no other words to say other than, this one must be on your to-read list.

Know before you read; TW: family separation, torture, police brutality, mentions of suicide, rape.

PUBLICATION DETAILS; HarperOne; June 2nd, 2020; 0062941925; Nonfiction/Memoir