Reviews for A Woman Like Me
Reviewed in the United States on September 9, 2019
“A Woman Like Me” takes the reader on a journey, a struggle, a discovery. It does this in much the same way as life does; gradually and almost inexorably. The reader is swept up in the protagonist’s events, struggles, victories, and developments. It’s only after a couple hundred pages, and in retrospect, that the reader appreciates just how much life our anti-heroine has lived.
The protagonist is a trans-gender woman, but this is neither a “trans” nor a “woman’s” tale. She is multi-racial, but the story is not about her being so. We are confronted with corruption at various levels, but do not expect a morality tale. The reader travels along with the heroine through numerous forms of exploitation and brutality, but the story does not focus on these. Rather, this is a personal story of one woman who just happens to be multi-racial and transgender and is who making her way through a world where corruption, exploitation, evil and brutality confront her. Ms. Rodriguez draws the reader in naturally to empathize with the heroine, and thereby experience this world alongside her.
The reader’s journey spans decades and traverses continents. We travel through, and experience numerous rich, diverse cultures. More importantly, we follow the protagonist’s inner journey and growth. Ms. Rodriguez weaves a deep and richly textured tapestry of characters that our anti-heroine encounters. She weaves all the actors through the story so deftly that the reader never loses the forest for the trees.
This is a gritty, and emotional warrior’s journey. One becomes emotionally invested in the heroine; not because she is wonderful or full of grace, but because she is a vulnerable human whose struggles, battles, suffering and hopes often resonate. We follow the protagonist and root for her because in her we see glimpses or different versions of ourselves.
This is a page-turner. Rodriguez guides the reader through an intricate, detailed and well fleshed-out journey without ever bogging down. As you follow this woman’s story you go beyond the role of a reader and become a passenger on her journey. As with her prior novel, “A Fortunate Accident,” you will be sated but hungry to continue the journey.
Small Press Review
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
Robert x gasca
Reviewed in the United States on October 13, 2019
I found the book an excellent read and highly recommend it. The book begins with the birth of the main character in the slums of Manila. The author vividly describes in depth the main character of the story and her journey and the cast of characters she meets in her journey to survive, using her wits which tend to lead to violence.
She is incarcerated for murder as a teenager. The author continues the character development as she begins her real education where she is introduced to kick boxing and through a chance encounter with a tranny inmate comes to a self-realization that she wants to change genders.
The story line details her escape from prison and her eventual trip to New Orleans, in search of her birth father. She joins the New Orleans Police and joins Blue Fraternity The story of her venture in the police force is a clever adaption from a true case of murder by a female police officer in New Orleans. The story concludes with the protagonist moving to Los Angles to escape. People that like fiction will enjoy this novel.
Excellent Job Developing Main Character
Enrique Ramos M.D.
Reviewed in the United States on September 22, 2019
The author did an excellent job of developing the main character to a point that it took a while to decide if she was male or female. The read became a real page-turner that kept you anticipating the next adventure she would throw herself in. The pace of the story did not let up at any time involving you in her desperate need to fit in. I was thoroughly engrossed with ambivalence about what is right and what is wrong in her response to situations that required instantaneous decision making. I think the author did a good job of showing her vulnerability mixed with her bravado. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and anticipate her next novel.
Keeps you on the line and in suspense
Reviewed in the United States on September 2, 2019
The writing keeps you on the line and in suspense throughout the protagonist’s complex and painful journey through crime, death, and family. I recommend this novel to anyone interested in the underside of justice that we never see up close, and to anyone wants a view of society from the outside looking in.
Great Plot, Gripping Characters, Page Turner
Reviewed by: Viga Boland for Readers’ Favorite
Reviewed in the United States on September 8, 2019
If you’re going to write a long fiction crime thriller, you’d better make sure of three things: you have a really great plot, gripping characters, and most important of all, the skill to create a true page-turner. Well, Francine Rodriguez certainly followed that mandate in A Woman Like Me. What a read…so riveting that I nearly missed a doctor’s appointment when I couldn’t put the book down! Her un-named protagonist is based on the life of a real person, a former female cop currently on death row for several murders. What on earth happened in her life to bring her to this? Was it the fact that she was born in the slums of Manila where she had an early introduction to the life of crime that resulted in her murdering two people? And how does a murderer end up as a US cop whose eye-opening experiences as a female member of the force lead her to murder again? Enough of a thrilling plot for you? Believe me, that’s only part of the full story and if anyone doubts that adage “truth is stranger than fiction”, the truth in this book will change your mind.
But it’s not just the plot that keeps you turning the pages. It’s the character and motivations of the protagonist that capture your imagination. She is full of rage that she struggles to keep under control. She is desperate for an identity, a sense of worth, a feeling of belonging to a family, a group or a person who really cares about her. When she fails to find that after years of trying to do the right thing by and for others, to ultimately fit in somewhere and be loved, her world falls apart. Readers feel her pain, her sense of rejection and disappointment so acutely, there is no criticism, just sadness. Though the storyline is very different, what I felt after reading this novel was similar to what I took away from the true-story movie Monster with Charlize Theron
The Woman in Me is also a sobering look at the sexual inequality so many women encounter, especially in both the military and police forces, where “having your brother’s back” too often takes precedence over doing what is right. Granted, this story takes place a couple of decades back and one would hope it’s not as bad being a female cop today as it was then, but I wouldn’t bank on it. Francine Rodriquez captures that inequality in unforgettable detail that leaves you thinking about what you have just read for days after. There is just enough description and realistic dialogue to establish the mood, the settings, and believable characters. Despite the fairly large amount of introspective reflection on the part of the protagonist, which authenticates her motivations and actions, The Woman in Me never bogs the reader down.
Well-written, fast paced
Diane Moat Author
Reviewed in the United States on November 21, 2019
Well-written, fast paced.
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