Running in Heels by Mary A. Perez {book review}

Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace by Mary A. Perez {book review}

Abuse, neglect, abandonment, alcoholism,  teen pregnancy, divorce, dysfunctional family, step-dad, half-siblings, sibling death in childhood, faith in God, grandparent-grandchild relationships, hunger, racism, the list goes on ..

Running in Heels Somewhere between stealing cold cuts from stray cats and watching a stranger leave her mother’s bed after breaking in through their bedroom window, Mary figured out that her family was dirt poor. Worse than her empty stomach, she was hungry for acceptance and love.

Mary’s grandparents, first generation immigrants from Puerto Rico, took her in and gave her a glimpse of faith and stability. For a brief, shining spell, she had a real home—until they decided that Mama needed her. They may have been right, but Mama needed more than a little girl could give and Mary lost her way again.

Running in Heels is a memoir of the grit and grace that carried a young girl through the shadows of her mother’s choices and on through an abusive marriage. Mary A. Pérez narrates an incredible story of survival in the face of hopelessness, and learning to forgive against all odds.

A story of coming of age, and coming into grace.

My Review:  This book is incredible in every sense of the word! I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is the memoir of a girl who, by the grace of God, lived to tell the story. The story is one of hope. A hope that clings to a God Who deals in the ordinary, and uses the ordinary for His glory.

Personally I enjoyed the Puerto Rican heritage, blended with NY and Miami. There were many pieces of the story with which I identified, partially because I grew up in the same era, albeit in different circumstances. I love the many period identifiers in the author’s childhood.

If you were raised in an intact and safe family, you may have difficulty believing this memoir. At one point I thought this reads like unbelievable fiction, though I don’t believe any of it was made up or written for effect. It is incredible to me that children who are neglected and abused can not only survive, but lead productive adult lives – by the grace of our loving God.

This book touched my heart in so many ways, some because I could identify with the author, and some which were convicting to me. The best part of the book (no spoilers) is the relationship between the author and her mother by the end of the book. Regardless of the reader’s circumstances this will speak to your heart as well.

I give this book a 5-star rating for a couple of reasons. One, the author is not a writer by trade, yet this book is very well written. I believe she worked very hard to make it so. And two, because it reached way down to my toes – it ‘got me’ where it matters. I absolutely love the transparency of the author. She claims to serve a perfect God, while she continues to be human. This is not a preachy book, but rather as down-to-earth as can be, giving credit to God and His grace.

mary a. perezI received my copy of Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace by Mary A. Perez from the author in exchange for my honest review. Opinions are my own.

Thank you so much, Mary, for asking me to review your book. The blessing is all mine!

Please visit Mary’s website to read her blog and find stores where her book is available. She is also on Goodreads.


4 thoughts on “Running in Heels by Mary A. Perez {book review}

  1. Mary says:

    Such an honor, Joyce. Thank you for your wonderful review and kind comments. I may be far from perfect, but I’m still a work in progress. I thank God for making me brand new.

    Liked by 2 people

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