What. Is. This??
This book is controversial. I wanted to read it, to see for myself, to form my own opinion. The controversy behind this book is valid. If "eyes were opened" after reading this, as some reviewers on booksellers' websites have said, then those readers have not been paying proper attention to the world. For this book is so poor that if it is the one to open eyes, then help us please.
This book also does not depict a realistic story. I do not think a story of a well-to-do person on the run is the story that needs to be told. Perhaps the author thought that the only way to gain understanding of migrants by a middle-class US readership was to create a character that closely mirrors her readership. But she was wrong. As a middle-class US reader, all she did was make me mad. I do not want this underdeveloped soap opera of a book to help me better understand cultures and circumstances different from my own.
I am not advocating for illegal immigration. No. I am advocating for a book that better explores the human condition and better educates me on the lived experiences of others.
I had higher expectations of this one, given all the publicity, but it failed. I am sorely disappointed that I bought this book.
I much preferred Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions.
Please be aware before you order or buy this book that it has been fiercely criticized by many American Latino authors and critics for harmful stereotypes of Mexicans, for having taken some scenes from other authors and for having received a huge publishers' advance when Latino authors who have more authentic stories grounded in their own experiences and observations struggle to feed themselves. Yes, it may be an exciting story but completely from the American white person's point of view. Personally, I found it inferior to the Mexican-produced telenovelas I sometimes watch.
This was an excellent book. Well written story of a woman and her son who have lost everything else to the drug cartel in Mexico making the crossing on La Bestia and with a coyote into the US to become illegal immigrants. It is loss and grief and love and hope. There was so much controversy about this book when it was published earlier this year by Latin Americans claiming that a Caucasian author could not write their experience but, albeit from the perspective of another Caucasian female, I thought this was a beautifully written book. Good story with great characters.
I just finished reading this.
I had a very hard time putting it down to go to sleep last night, but had to get some sleep because I had to work in the morning.
I was able to take it to work and finish in my down time.
It's one of those compelling stories that troubles you until it's resolved.
It definitely challenged my notions about family, trauma, good Samaritans, friendship, immigration - legal and otherwise, sacrifice, journalism, corruption...