Twenty-one-year-old Alyssa Florescu wakes up at her impoverished home in Eastern Europe on New Year's Day in 1995 and decides to change her life. She's not sure what she should do, but she does know she can no longer live in her country with its tired traditions, lifestyle, and culture—she wants a free and independent life.
Inspired by a friend, she decides to go to America. Even though she doesn't know anyone there and speaks little English, she overcomes her fears and doubts, and within a year she's off to America with $100 in her pocket.
However, Alyssa's bravery soon wears off and she starts to second guess her decision as she struggles with loneliness and being away from her friends and family while fitting into a new culture. But as she continues to work for a wealthy family, she becomes mentally stronger, and when she sees Manhattan for the first time, and she's determined to succeed in her new city.
One cold evening, Alyssa is on the rooftop of a townhouse and she locks herself out. There she encounters Gilles, a wealthy French man. Their relationship grows and they become deep and loving friends. They soon marry, even though Gilles is in another loving relationship. Through this friendship, Alyssa is lifted out of the grinding poverty and loneliness of her life as an immigrant, and into the world of wealth, glamor, and fashion.
While in the Hamptons, Alyssa confronts Gilles about hiding his relationship with Mark, and what it means to be free and in love. As Gilles thinks about his life, Alyssa is contacted by Rachel, an art dealer from Arizona. Rachel and Alyssa strike up a friendship, which leads to a surprising story twist.
Based on real events, the The Yellow Suitcase is an immigrant's story about love, courage, and freedom. Written in the first person with internal dialogues to expose Alyssa's innermost thoughts, the story is told through drama, comedy, and self-reliance.
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Average rating from 7 members
The book is well written and easy to read. I was hooked from the very first line. What i enjoyed the most was how the author showed that life is never a fairytale. It showed the struggles most people face in a foreign country. I liked reading Alyssa's journey, it accurately portrayed how difficult it is to move to a different country where you don not know anyone. She was so determined and did not give up in the face of hardships. Another thing that I really admired was how she always put her 'goal' first and was actually determined to reach it. The writing style is simple which I think is because the book is from Alyssa's point of view, who is not well spoken in English. One critic I have is how sexual abuse was downplayed and the controlling behaviour of a specific character was never acknowledged. The characters that we meet through Alyssa's journey were interesting and different, they all had flaws but it was never their whole personality. The author describes everything in a lot of detail which I liked. But i felt the ending was rushed and wrapped up too quickly. Despite that I was satisfied by how it ends.
Beautiful. I believe this book was an easy,, smooth read and beautifully written. I adore the fact that the author based the story on realism and showed that life isn't always perfect and doesn't always work out as planned.. In The Yellow Suitcase, Clark portrayed the life of the main character, Alyssa. Alyssa moves to another country and her journey shows us how she difficulties that people in foreign countries often face as well as the challenges of moving to a new setting whilst not knowing anyone around you. I came to admire Alyssa's determination throughout the book and strive to be more like her in my everyday life. Alyssa leads with confidence even in her times of confusion or misunderstandings. The only thing that I was personally not fond of was the over-kill of detail given throughout the book. I love stories that are written efficiently and that are forthcoming and to the point with information. Overall, 4 out if 5 stars.
Thank you so much netgalley and the publisher for providing an arc! I devoured this book and loved every second of it. Also, really like the worldbuilding, and how the author can create a world that has the capability of making us vicariously live through it. I feel like the introduction was a bit too slow-paced for me. The characters are fairly interesting. Henceforth, it was quite a good read.