An emotional tour-de-force, Pascuala Herrera’s Not Always A Valley Of Tears is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the wonders of faith as she looks back on her life from Mexico to the US, from the depths of despair to the heights of ecstasy.

The story of Herrera’s life is pieced together to be symbolic of the will of the people she calls her family, swaying from crisis to crisis, from triumph to triumph. The ethereal essence of her religion and belief in the importance of family and love is starkly contrasted against the visceral and unforgiving material world of disability and disenfranchisement and the dusty heat of Mexico.

The writing style while mature did not veer into purple territory. With the lilt and attitude of a multi-lingual writer, Herrera is also not afraid to play around with imagery. The emotional insights are also themselves markers for the unique perspective so colorfully laid out in this memoir.


Pascuala Herrera takes us on a powerful journey of pain, fear, suffering, courage, insight, and possibility. Herrera's compelling memoir is a beacon of hope for our humanity. She is a wonderful storyteller. Must reading!


What a wonderful read! This book is not only a look into Ms. Herrera's personal life story but a lesson on resiliency. She takes you on a journey from being born in Mexico, having a disability, traveling to the United States to be part of a society where there is segregation and oppression. She is a part of the disability movement making changes to the law and overcoming so many challenges. She continues to not let her disability define her but embraces life to become an inspiring successful woman. This is a book that everyone should read and I highly recommend it.


A wonderful read that is full of heartfelt emotions - The author vividly invited readers into her world of family, culture, challenges, and love. The author's humor and perseverance are key elements to making this book a page-turner and filling your heart full of hope. I highly recommend reading this book if you want to be inspired and grateful for the life before you.


Excellent writing—easy to read—a page-turner! An entertaining and informative book about a life well-lived. I would highly recommend it to everyone as the author’s style draws you into her life. A perfect read especially during this time of focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. It should be made into a movie.


Esta redaction de como la vida de una pequeña niña imigrante con desabilidades superó los mas grandes obstaculos que la vida le puso en frente, nos sirve de mucho aprendisaje y admiracíon. Pascuala nos lleva a muchos rincones de su vida, siempre demostrando una determinacion feróz y una fé impresionante. Una de las cualidades de Pascuala es que ella ve todo lo que le pasa como una forma de ayudar a los demas. Sin duda, les recomiendo leér este libro!


De fácil lectura, entretenido, chusco, triste e inspirador. Pascuala es sin duda una mujer que se da a si misma y a su comunidad, pero sobre todo sinónimo de éxito resultado de su empeño y trabajo arduo. Gonzalo Herrera.


Hermoso libro,fácil de leer, divertido triste informativo y muy entretenido lo recomiendo 100%


If you are in need of some inspiration, this is a must-read life story of resilience and courage. Reading it helped me introspectively look at life's challenges as things that can propel us forward beyond our previously conceived limitations. Pascuala's natural style draws you into her story and helps you see that the beauty of life is in the journey.


Pascuala Herrera's "Not Always A Valley of Tears" is a Memoir of her life as a Mexican, woman with a physical disability. The transparent sometimes emotional narrative of her life was engaging from beginning to end. I like that she does not gloss over the physical, social, or emotional challenges of having a disability. The author shares with readers how many of her life challenges were surmounted by faith in God, her own persistent dedication to succeed, and her supportive family and friends. The memoir gives a voice to the humanness of being a Mexican immigrant and a woman with a physical disability. I believe the memoir is a contribution to several genres of studies: Culture, Disability, and Women.


If you want to read about the power of love, then this book is for you! It's a captivating story with a very natural story-telling approach that had me reading through the night. It is one of those hard to put down books. I loved it and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to feel inspired.


This book is truly amazing! Very well written, making you feel like you are living every moment right along with the author. Pascuala overcomes life's challenges with sheer will power and incredible courage. Her unique story is packed with valuable lessons and should be read by all!


This story not only taught me about somebody else's life but truly made me look upon my own. Pascuala has provided us with a rubric on not only how we can push past expectations or adversity in our own lives but also on how much we can really offer to help others through theirs as well. Every page I read of this story brought me different emotions, feelings and self-reflecting thoughts that no other story has ever given me. This story was motivational, powerful, inspiring, eye-opening and insightful. I have and will continue to recommend this story to so many, as it has taught me how much more appreciative I can be in my life, as well as of those in it as well.


Pascuala Herrera es una mujer admirable. Nacida en el pueblo La Purisima del estado de Durango de la republica mexicana. Ella escribio este libro que us una joya. En mi persona, el libro me hizo vivir momentos de mucha felicidad y tristeza, me llego al corazon! En partes reia y me llenaba de gozo, en otras lloraba. Es un libro maravilloso! Les recomiendo que lo lean porque se que para todos es una gran inspiracion. Eleuterio Alanis


Este libro es un reto a descubrir y vivir nuestro potencial. Si yo hubiera leído este libro hace 50 años, cuando llegue este país, yo hubiera hecho mucho más de mi vida. Carmen Martinez


Inspirador excelente libro te ayuda a mirar la vida desde otra perspectiva. Te hace ver la vida desde otra perspectiva súper emotivo,inspirador y te motiva a nunca darte por vencido. Bravo por Pascuala Herrera



"Pascuala’s story will move you, motivate you, challenge you, and above all, leave you feeling thankful. Working with her to plan and execute a book talk at our library was easy and enjoyable. We couldn’t have been happier with the way she invested in our patrons, engaging with them on a personal level, the result of which was a high-impact library program. I enthusiastically recommend Pascuala to any library or organization who wants to offer a night of inspiration to their community. On a personal level, she reminded me to see life’s possibilities instead of impossibilities, a perspective that we all need in days like these. --Matthew Jones, Adult Services Coordinator, Sandwich Public Library District"

Matthew Jones

Adult Services Coordinator

Sandwich Public Library

Pascuala presented to a diverse group of student and faculty participants at our college and connected on many levels. Her moving story was not only inspirational on a personal level but also touched on broader themes such as disability, immigration, political activism, and more. After Pascuala’s presentation, several students remarked on their increased interest in writing their own life stories, which was gratifying given their usual reluctance to write. Pascuala made the audience feel comfortable, engaged, and challenged in our own lives. She was a well-prepared and dynamic presenter who I would recommend to colleges and universities looking for an excellent program.

Kathleen Reynolds

Advisor, International Students Club

Associate Professor, ESL/Linguistics

Pascuala Herrera moved us to laughter and to tears during her presentation and discussion of her memoir. By providing us with vignettes from throughout her life and long career in education, we were able to understand the ways our school structures, policies, and interactions with students and colleagues with disabilities are severely lacking. We left the session with a greater awareness but also an increased capacity to serve as supportive advocates both in our individual practice and as part of our school community. Having Pascuala unpack the narratives and talk through them with us dramatically increased the value of what we could take away from her memoir, and we are indebted to her for tireless efforts.

Stephanie Whalen

Chair, Academy for Teaching Excellence, Harper College;

Professor, English and Interdisciplinary Studies

Pascuala Herrera beautifully demonstrates in her honest and moving presentations the importance of community, faith, persistence, and courage to her audiences, whether they are faculty seeking ways to better support their students academically, new college students still uncertain of their life goals, or an auditorium filled with appreciative listeners who are reminded that all of us, despite challenges and loss, can find purpose, transformation, and our true selves through meaningful loving relationships and joy in serving others.

Judy Kulchawik, MEd, MA,

Associate Professor of English and Interdisciplinary Studies Emerita, Harper College