Within the pages of The Immigrant’s Lament by Mois Benarroch the author tells his life story and the many steps he and his family took as immigrants. Throughout the book Benarroch’s honesty shines through. He speaks of the multiple ups and downs of his life and how being an immigrant has shaped him into the person he is today.
While the literal story may be hard for many readers to relate to, the underlying feelings attached to these life moments are truly relatable. Feelings such as not belonging, not being good enough, and wanting to disappear. He even writes about the pain of his marital issues which end in divorce. That is not to say he does not write about the happiness in his life. There are feelings of pure joy, love, and understanding throughout these same pages. The love and admiration for family is apparent. His love for the earth and its animals is seen through his comparisons, such as caves meaning darkness and the sun being that of happiness. These beautiful comparisons truly embrace the love and respect he has for the world from which he lives in.
Because this is the story of an immigrant it is not the most directly relatable to many people. While I do think it is important and educational to read, I found it slightly dry at parts. Also, the writing style is very hard to follow because this style has a lack of punctuation. This causes the authors intentions of the writing to be hard to follow. I feel the beginning of the book had more organization, but as one reads on it gets a little more disorganized.
I did enjoy that there was a large span of topics included within the writing. While the actual topic of immigrating may not be directly relatable to everyone, the topics such as friendship, family, marriage, etc. can definitely be seen as relatable to the masses. There was also the inclusion of topics that could cause high debate such as vaccination. This gave a present day feel to the book and made aspects comparable to one’s own life.
Overall, I would rate this book a 2 out of 4 stars. While the book had an overall serious feel to it, there were multiple moments where the author snuck in humor. The writing was slightly dry at parts and this caused certain poems to drag, but within that there were beautifully written comparisons and explanations of feelings that truly stood out. The honesty of the author when telling the story of his life is undeniable.