The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande
A Memoir

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review

"The Distance Between Us" is a book that deserves to be celebrated for its candor and for the courage of the woman who overcame so many obstacles to write it.
-LA Times


Mago pointed to a spot on the dirt floor and reminded me that my umbilical cord was buried there. “That way,” Mami told the midwife, “no matter where life takes her, she won’t ever forget where she came from.”

Then Mago touched my belly button . . . She said that my umbilical cord was like a ribbon that connected me to Mami. She said, “It doesn’t matter that there’s a distance btween us now. That cord is there forever.”

When Reyna Grande’s father leaves his wife and three children behind in a village in Mexico to make the dangerous trek across the border to the United States, he promises he will soon return from “El Otro Lado” (The Other Side) with enough money to build them a dream house where they can all live together. His promises become harder to believe as months turn into years. When he summons his wife to join him, Reyna and her siblings are deposited in the already overburdened household of their stern, unsmiling grandmother.

The three siblings are forced to look out for themselves; in childish games they find a way to forget the pain of abandonment and learn to solve very adult problems. When their mother at last returns, the reunion sets the stage for a dramatic new chapter in Reyna’s young life: her own journey to “El Otro Lado” to live with the man who has haunted her imagination for years, her long-absent father.

In this extraordinary memoir, award-winning writer Reyna Grande vividly brings to life her tumultuous early years, capturing all the confusion and contradictions of childhood, especially one spent torn between two parents and two countries. Elated when she feels the glow of her father’s love and approval, Reyna knows that at any moment he might turn angry or violent. Only in books and music and her rich imaginary life does she find solace, a momentary refuge from a world in which every place feels like “El Otro Lado.”

The Distance Between Us captures one girl’s passage from childhood to adolescence and beyond. A funny, heartbreaking, lyrical story, it reminds us that the joys and sorrows of childhood are always with us, invisible to the eye but imprinted on the heart, forever calling out to us of those places we first called home.

About Reyna Grande

See more books from this Author
Reyna Grande is the author of two award-winning novels. Across a Hundred Mountains received an American Book Award, and Dancing with Butterflies was the recipient of an International Latino Book Award. She lives in Los Angeles.
Published August 28, 2012 by Washington Square Press. 338 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for The Distance Between Us
All: 1 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 0

LA Times

Reviewed by Hector Tobar on Aug 19 2012

"The Distance Between Us" is a book that deserves to be celebrated for its candor and for the courage of the woman who overcame so many obstacles to write it.

Read Full Review of The Distance Between Us: A Me... | See more reviews from LA Times

Reader Rating for The Distance Between Us

An aggregated and normalized score based on 248 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review