About My Beloved World

 

In recounting her early life, Sonia Sotomayor describes growing up in a housing project in the Bronx to Puerto Rican emigrants. Her father was an alcoholic who died when she was nine, and she was subsequently cared for in large part by her grandmother. She tells of developing diabetes at the age of seven and learning to give herself her insulin injections due to the unreliability of her parents. Despite numerous odds, she relates her experiences in becoming valedictorian of her high school class, attending Princeton and then Yale Law School, working for the New York County District Attorney, and finally being appointed a Federal Judge in New York.

The memoir does not cover aspects of her later life or her appointment to the Supreme Court, aside from incidental mentions. It is apolitical and does not discuss or reveal her legal philosophy. It discusses her 1976 marriage and subsequent divorce in 1983. It reveals many details about her early life that even her closest friends and mother were not previously aware of, as well as many things she had difficulty confronting ("I disclose every fear I've ever had in this book.") It also includes a candid description of the effects of affirmative action upon her at Princeton; she acknowledges that "I had been admitted to the Ivy League through a special door," but concludes that the measures served "to create the conditions whereby students from disadvantaged backgrounds could be brought to the starting line of a race many were unaware was even being run."