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Can’t Let Go is much more than a tale of rags to riches or the recounting of an immigrant’s trials and tribulations. It is not just another rendition of the struggles of belonging-as a newcomer in an unfamiliar land or as a stranger in one’s own world where his own people have come to see him as an outsider, nor is it simply about resilience and overcoming. Can’t Let Go is, in essence, a compelling story of love: a man’s love of family and country; a love that is tested, profoundly challenged but still enduring.

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Can’t Let Go, an engaging memoir, begins in the early 1950s in the quaint little mining town of Jadotville in the Belgian Congo. Against the backdrop of monumental political, economic, and social changes the author, Dr. Raphael Tshibangu, chronicles his improbable journey and spellbinding experiences across continents and oceans, a journey that would take him from his humble, yet proud, beginnings to realizing his adolescent dream of becoming a medical doctor. With vivid details and honest self-reflection, he leads us from his childhood home in a laborer camp to attending some of the most prestigious schools in the United States, thriving and achieving the American Dream as a distinguished specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology. As we travel along on Dr. Tshibangu’s odyssey, it becomes clear that Can’t Let Go is also about Grace and Destiny, about the universe unfolding in mysterious and seemingly miraculous ways. In a candid and intimate way, the author brings us with him on his introspective journey and highlights his meandering path from determination and certainty to anguish and ambiguity, and finally to realizations, possibilities and, yes, even enlightenment and happiness. Can’t Let Go is a deeply human story with universal challenges, an inspirational tale that holds a mirror to many among us.

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