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Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
"Grandma Josefina and the Heroic Boy" tells a story sure to please readers. In her youth, Josefina Bergin was adored by everyone, and that included her mother and the family servant assigned to take care of her, Liliane. Liliane traces her roots to a community of voodoo practitioners to whom she owes her life after her family was wiped out by a plague. The young and beautiful Josefina, on the other hand, belongs to a family of Christians, but Liliane – proud of her heritage – is determined to create a witch out of Josefina. She has successfully done so, and Josefina continues to live her life normally until one day a grandson is born to her family – one she fears may just ruin her secret life as a witch. As soon as the boy Jaclyn is born with a mark on his face, Josefina is frightened and determined to get him out of her way. Will she succeed?
Stories of good battling evil abound in the market, but Joseph Policape paints one in a landscape filled to the brim with the color of Haitian culture – it is a story of spiritual warfare between a woman and her grandson that extends even beyond death. It is unfortunate how a precocious child as Josefina turns into a wicked character later in her life, but this serves as a lesson for all to remain good. Policape’s Christian inclinations are evident in the book, as well as his in-depth knowledge of a culture that is engaged in a struggle between traditions and change – and all that makes this book quite worthwhile.