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Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite
Domestically Yours by Annie Chua sets out to show one woman’s experience of the Canadian Care-Giver Programme, after changes were implemented to include non-Europeans, giving them the opportunity to obtain permanent citizenship and bring families to join them. Canada needed care-givers; two salaries were required to run a home and the help available had to be both qualified and affordable. The first half of the book explains the circumstances that caused Annie to leave her four daughters with her estranged husband. The second part recounts her experiences working as a care-giver in Edmonton, Alberta, and then the various jobs she had to find to raise money for a home.
Annie Chua was born in Paranaque City near Manila in the Philippines into a poor, but hard-working family who gave her the best education they could. Her ambition to be a doctor was thwarted when she fell in love with Bong and married, aged twenty. Following the death of their second daughter, Karoline, Bong started drinking to excess. A reconciliation resulted in the birth of a fifth daughter, but Bong did not support his family. Divorce wasn’t an option in the Catholic Philippines, but Annie’s situation called for desperate measures. Her story is an inspiration to anyone determined to turn their life around for the sake of their children. Domestically Yours also contains a great deal of practical “how to” information, interwoven with Annie’s own battles with bureaucracy. The account of her time in Canada before she is free and financially able to relocate her daughters is heart-breaking at times, but it also paints a vivid picture of a beautiful country.