We have all had our lives impacted by certain people, whether family members or friends. This book was inspired by the stories I heard as a young person about family relations, including my parents’ star-crossed relationship. My parents’ passion brought them together under challenging times, and in the end, their stars took them in divergent directions, leaving a cloud of questions behind for my imagination to explore.
In addition, throughout my life, I was fortunate to hear about my cultural roots from three matriarchs in our family, my mother, aunt, and godmother. I also witnessed their bond of sisterhood that lasted over eighty years. They lived into their nineties, and they died a few years apart. Those matriarchs taught me to honor family, and to forgive others and oneself for what happened or didn’t happen in your story. My love to you, Maria, Josephine, and Rosa!
Defiance and Redemption is a story that is as current today in parts of the world as I imagine it was in early 20th century Ecuador when women’s lives were more restricted. Women need each other for support and to envision a more expansive future. But this story is not an autobiography or a memoir. It is fiction and it arises out of certain truths. Yet, I like to think the story has closed a personal circle for me in which the past is like a garden. It is enjoyed, celebrated, and at death, the earth turned, for new seeds to grow.
Maria J. Andrade was born in Ecuador, South America, and raised in New York and California. She has a bachelor of arts degree in English literature and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. As a licensed therapist and writer, Maria has been diving into other people’s minds and her own, through dreams, poetry, and books for over three decades. She traveled with the Four Winds Society where she studied and was initiated into Andean shamanism in 1990.
Based on a true story, Defiance and Redemption, A Lifetime of Unbroken Bonds, brings to life the joys, dramas, and triumphs of two sisters, Eva and Victoria Alisio and their loyal friend Marta. The sisters are raised by their atheist Grandfather Marcus and religious Grandmother Maria Luisa. Eva, a proud and strong-willed young woman defies her family, society, and culture, faces scandal and disgrace, for her forbidden love affair. Victoria finds herself in the center of a multigenerational conflict as her benefactor bestows a great inheritance on her excluding the rightful heirs. Marta, loyal to the childhood bond with the Alisio sisters, brings humor and support to their twists and turns of fortune. The young women’s bond of love, and perseverance, carries them through ordinary and extraordinary losses, triumphs, and ultimately to their destiny in the United States.