About the Book

2019-20 Book

2019-2020 Selection

Christina Rickardsson - "Never Stop Walking"


An extraordinary memoir of one woman’s fight to find her true self between the life into which she was born and the one she was given.

Christiana Mara Coelho was born into extreme poverty in Brazil. After spending the first seven years of her life with her loving mother in the forest caves outside São Paulo and then on the city streets, where they begged for food, she and her younger brother were suddenly put up for adoption. When one door closed on the only life Christiana had ever known and on the woman who protected her with all her heart, a new one opened.

As Christina Rickardsson, she’s raised by caring adoptive parents in Sweden, far from the despairing favelas of her childhood. Accomplished and outwardly “normal,” Christina is also filled with rage over what she’s lost and having to adapt to a new reality while struggling with the traumas of her youth. When her world falls apart again as an adult, Christina returns to Brazil to finally confront her past and unlock the truth of what really happened to Christiana Mara Coelho.

A memoir of two selves, Never Stop Walking is the moving story of the profound love between families and one woman’s journey from grief and loss to survival and self-discovery.


Christina Rickardsson was born in 1983 as Christiana Mara Coelho in Brazil in a town called Diamantina (Minas Gerais), where she lived with her mother in a cave. When Christina was around five years old they were kicked out of their home (their cave) and ended up having to move to the streets of a São Paulo, where Christina begged for food and money, and where she was subjected to several physical and psychological abuses. At the age of seven she was taken to an orphanage together with her youngest brother, and when Christina was eight years old they were adopted (against Christina’s and Christina’s mother’s will) and moved to Vindeln, a village located in the north of Sweden in a region called Västerbotten.

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