Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Book of Unknown Americans

The Book of Unknown Americans
by Cristina Henríquez

Genre: Fiction

Synopsis: A  boy and a girl who fall in love.  Two families whose hopes collide with destiny.  An extraordinary novel that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be American.

Arturo and Alma Rivera have lived their whole lives in Mexico.  One day, their beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter, Maribel, sustains a terrible injury, one that casts doubt on whether she'll ever be the same. And so, leaving all they have behind, the Riveras come to America with a single dream: that in this country of great opportunity and resources, Maribel can get better.

When Mayor Toro, whose family is from Panama, sees Maribel in a Dollar Tree store, it is love at first sight.  It's also the beginning of a friendship between the Rivera and Toro families, whose web of guilt and love and responsibility is at this novel's core.

Woven into their stories are the testimonials of men and women who have come to the United States from all over Latin America.  Their journeys and their voices will inspire you, surprise you, and break your heart.
from the ebook

Review:  I really enjoyed the different voices in this book.  Each person was so honest about their lives in America.  Most of the book is told from the perspectives of Alma and Mayor but there are chapters interjected about various minor characters in the book.  Some of those minor characters I wanted to know more about.  Those were the chapters that tugged at my heart strings but because there was only one chapter about each minor character I forgot about some of their stories.  Someone who does not understand Spanish may need to have the internet close by to translate some things.  There were phrases and words that I didn't know that I looked up as I was reading (and I speak Spanish).  I wanted to love this book because it came highly recommended to me by several people but there was just something missing to make me say that it was a good read.

Rating: 4 stars

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