The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea

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Always ready to move over and make room for one more, “The House of Broken Angels” soars on wings of memory and imagination into the “imperfect and glorious, messy and hilarious” tragedy and comedy of family history.
-Star Tribune

Synopsis

From a Pulitzer Prize finalist comes a powerful and unforgettable portrait of one Mexican American family and the American dream.
"Epic . . . Rambunctious . . . Highly entertaining." --New York Times Book Review
"A raucous, moving, and necessary book . . . Intimate and touching . . . the stuff of legend." --San Francisco Chronicle
"Brilliant . . . Exceptional . . . The House of Broken Angels hums with joy." --NPR
"An immensely charming and moving tale." --Boston Globe
"A book about celebration that it, itself, a celebration." --Washington Post
"All we do, mija, is love. Love is the answer. Nothing stops it. Not borders. Not death."
In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel de La Cruz, affectionately called Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the party approaches, his mother, nearly one hundred, dies herself, leading to a farewell doubleheader in a single weekend. Among the guests is Big Angel's half brother, known as Little Angel, who must reckon with the truth that although he shares a father with his siblings, he has not, as a half gringo, shared a life.
<!--?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /-->Across two bittersweet days in their San Diego neighborhood, the revelers mingle among the palm trees and cacti, celebrating the lives of Big Angel and his mother, and recounting the many inspiring tales that have passed into family lore, the acts both ordinary and heroic that brought these citizens to a fraught and sublime country and allowed them to flourish in the land they have come to call home.
The story of the de La Cruzes is the quintessential American story. This indelible portrait of a complex family reminds us of what it means to be the first generation and to live two lives across one border. It takes us into a world we have not known, while reflecting back the hopes and dreams of our own families. Teeming with brilliance and humor, authentic at every turn, The House of Broken Angels is Luis Alberto Urrea at his best, and cements his reputation as a storyteller of the first rank.
 

About Luis Alberto Urrea

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Luis Alberto Urrea is the author of, among other books, The Devil's Highway, The Hummingbird's Daughter, and Into the Beautiful North. Winner of a Lannan Literary Award and Christopher Award, he is also the recipient of an American Book Award, the Kiriyama Prize, the National Hispanic Cultural Center's Literary Award, a Western States Book Award, a Colorado Book Award, an Edgar Award and a citation of excellence from the American Library Association. He is a member of the Latino Literary Hall of Fame.
 
Published March 6, 2018 by Little, Brown and Company. 336 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The House of Broken Angels
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by DIANA POSTLETHWAITE on Mar 09 2018

Always ready to move over and make room for one more, “The House of Broken Angels” soars on wings of memory and imagination into the “imperfect and glorious, messy and hilarious” tragedy and comedy of family history.

Read Full Review of The House of Broken Angels | See more reviews from Star Tribune

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Viet Thanh Nguyen on Mar 26 2018

Anger and sorrow are one pair of emotions that keeps surfacing throughout “The House of Broken Angels.” So do love and pain, joy and resentment, hatred and reconciliation, backstabbing and tenderness. All complicated, all compelling...

Read Full Review of The House of Broken Angels | See more reviews from NY Times

NPR

Good
Reviewed by Lily Meyer on Mar 07 2018

...all that vulnerability, combined with humor and celebration and Urrea's vivid prose, will crack you open. At least while you're reading, this book will make you vulnerable, too.

Read Full Review of The House of Broken Angels | See more reviews from NPR

Reader Rating for The House of Broken Angels
91%

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