My Beloved World Summary & Study Guide

Sonia Sotomayor
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My Beloved World Summary & Study Guide Description

My Beloved World Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor.

My Beloved World is a memoir by Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic justice on the United States Supreme Court. This memoir, related from Sotomayor’s first-person perspective, describes her childhood, family, education, and career through 1992.

Sonia Sotomayor grew up in America in a poor but extended family. During her early childhood, her parents had a rocky relationship due in part to her father's alcoholism. Sotomayor’s mother was handicapped by a difficult childhood and never seemed to know how to deal effectively with her husband or her family. The author’s mother, Celina, was kind and caring, spending hours caring for other people, but she was often absent from her own family. Sotomayor struggled with this until she learned about her mother's childhood. Orphaned at a young age, Celina was raised by siblings who were ill-equipped to handle the job. She was beaten brutally for minor infractions and shown little true affection.

By contrast, Sotomayor’s father, Juan, was raised in a loving, extended family. The author’s grandmother, Abuelita Mercedes, was her refuge. The young Sonia spent many days and nights with Abuelita, choosing Abuelita's house over the chaos that reigned at her own home. When Sotomayor’s father died, she felt their lives would improve but was surprised when her mother sank into a deep grief that lasted weeks.

Sonia and her brother, Juan Junior, often watched television and Sonia became intrigued by the courtroom drama of Perry Mason. Though she didn't know what to expect or even really how to achieve the goal, she became determined to become a lawyer with the higher goal of being a judge.

Sonia and Junior attended Catholic school for their early education. She learned how to study in order to make good grades but she lacked in analytical and critical thinking skills. She did well on the debate team and gained experience that would greatly supplement her education. When the time for college drew near, a young man who had become a mentor advised her to set her sights high. She got several offers but settled on Princeton University. Some in her school were amazed and even skeptical when the news began to spread. While Sonia's mother didn't know the significance of the prestigious acceptance, she did discover that her co-workers were excited on her behalf.

Sonia married Kevin, her high school sweetheart, as was expected in their traditional families. Sonia finished college at Princeton and went on to Yale for law school. She became an assistant District Attorney as Ken continued his education to become a doctor. Their lives were so busy that they grew apart and divorced. Sonia then joined a law firm in private practice and one of the partners there helped her apply for a position as a judge. That step eventually led to the Supreme Court.

From childhood, Sonia Sotomayor dealt with juvenile diabetes that caused occasional episodes and always made her aware that she may not have a long life ahead of her. By the time she was a judge, she felt the disease was mainly under control.

Through it all, Sotomayor dealt with her own self-doubts and the prejudices against women and Puerto Ricans. She focused on the needs of others, committing to community service even when she had her hands full with studies and work. She attributed her success to the people who supported her, from her family to the friends she made along her journey. She has always believed that her life was filled with learning, and that her role as a judge requires that she continue to learn.

This study guide is based on the Kindle version of the book, copyrighted 2013.

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This section contains 612 words
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