In July of 2021, I discovered ARC reading for independently published authors by scrolling through Booktok. By August, I had read 9 amazing books written by authors that I would never have thought to read before and was in search of other authors who needed ARC readers. I was new to this so when Monroe A. Wildrose came across my For You Page with a request for ARC readers when I say I tripped on my way to the sign-up link I’m not lying. I knew nothing about the book, the author, or the storyline. But at that time, a free book to read was a free book to read.
Within 24 hours, I had an email link with an attachment for the book. Like I said, I was new to this whole ARC reading thing, so I had to look up how to get the book onto my Kindle to read. I am an instant gratification kind of gal so the fact that it wasn’t immediately available was a put off for me and I pushed the book to the back burner. A few weeks later, I remembered I had told her I would get the review up and I went in search of the link again. After finally figuring out how to get it on my e-reader, I was nearly ready to put it on the side again but decided i’d read a few chapters just so that i could let the author know that I started and my initial thoughts. Looking back now I am so glad I didn’t put it off.
I live in the middle of nowhere, Texas and if you haven’t been paying attention to the news, there’s a mass migration of foreign nationals making their way up from the border. Here in our small town we have had many a scary night, where neighbors message you at ungodly hours that migrants were spotted. We’ve even had lock-downs at our local school due to these individuals being present on property with the possibility of being armed. It was a stressful time, to say the least. I am not a cold-blooded person and the struggles of these people weigh heavily on my heart though my safety and the safety of my family will always be my top priority, but I constantly find myself wondering, how can I help. What can a stay-at-home mom possibly have to offer thousands of displaced people?
What does that have to do with the book, you might be asking. Well, on the day I decided to start reading, I did as I always do. Intending to read only a chapter or two I found myself 2 hours in reading a passage that struck me to the core.
“I cannot lay awake at night worried about the things I did not do. I can only be content with what I had the means and opportunity to change.” -Captain Georgette Baine (chapter 9 page 107)
At that point, I closed the book and thought about it for the next hour or so. This fictional character, in a fantasy book written about pirates and stolen princesses did more to ease my mind about not being able to help everyone than anyone I’ve spoken to or watched on television over the last 6 years. This isn’t meant to be a political blog, and please understand that the few words I write on here are not my full view on this matter. But, over the last 6-8 years immigration reform has been a major topic of discussion all across the country and everyone has formed some sort of opinion. I once believed that as a country with the means to help, that we should be doing everything in our power to do so. However, over the years I’ve come to realize that we can’t help others if we are suffering ourselves. This quote drove that home for me.
I am only one person, I cannot allow myself to stress over the issues that are befalling the world when I do not have the power to make a huge impact. I can only be happy that when I am given the opportunity to help someone less fortunate, I do so without thinking and without expectation to be recognized for it.
I never thought reading a YA fantasy would ever impact my life in any significant way. But a singular quote from this book helped ease some the anxiety and stress I carry on a daily basis.