The House of Broken Angels
by Luis Alberto Urrea


Overview - In this "raucous, moving, and necessary" ( San Francisco Chronicle ) story by a Pulitzer Prize finalist, the De La Cruzes, a family on the Mexican-American border, celebrate two of their most beloved relatives during a joyous and bittersweet weekend.  Read more...

 
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More About The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
 
 
 
Overview
In this "raucous, moving, and necessary" (San Francisco Chronicle) story by a Pulitzer Prize finalist, the De La Cruzes, a family on the Mexican-American border, celebrate two of their most beloved relatives during a joyous and bittersweet weekend.
National Bestseller and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist
A New York Times Notable Book / One of the Best Books of the Year from National Public Radio, American Library Association, San Francisco Chronicle, BookPage, Newsday, BuzzFeed, Kirkus Reviews, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Literary Hub
"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, transforming the weekend into a farewell doubleheader. 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.
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.
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.

"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
"An immensely charming and moving tale." --Boston Globe

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780316154888
  • ISBN-10: 0316154881
  • Publisher: Little Brown and Company
  • Publish Date: March 2018
  • Page Count: 336
  • Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.15 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Cultural Heritage
Books > Fiction > Hispanic & Latino
Books > Fiction > Family Life - General

 
BookPage Reviews

Come together to remember

BookPage Top Pick in Fiction, March 2018

Given the fractures that mark the history of the United States and the many immigrants who call this nation home, it’s not particularly surprising that so much of American storytelling gravitates toward the familial, seeks shelter in that blood-bound country within the country. What has been said best about American life in the realm of fiction has often been said through the prism of the American family.

It is squarely through the door of the familial that Luis Alberto Urrea’s dizzying new novel, The House of Broken Angels, enters the pantheon and takes its rightful place alongside the best contemporary accounting of what it means to belong in this country of endless otherness.

The novel takes place both in chronological time and in violation of it. It follows the de la Cruz clan, “an American family, which happens to be from Mexico.” The family’s eldest, Mamá América, has died. Her son, the family patriarch Miguel Angel de la Cruz, is also dying, but he attempts to ward off death long enough to organize back-to-back family gatherings: his mother’s funeral and his own final birthday party. The narrative—sometimes bittersweet, sometimes uproarious—swoops between these two events and the personal histories of their attendees.

Urrea writes in exhilarating but controlled slashes, wielding a machete that cuts like a scalpel. Every page comes alive with scent, taste and, perhaps most movingly, touch. The novel’s most affecting characters are passing through the tail end of life. They carry the burden of a shared history, and in this way their smallest, most delicate interactions—the brush of a hand, the sight of scarred and sagging skin—are alive with the weight of all that once was. The House of Broken Angels is about a quintessentially American family, a family that came north looking for heaven but found that “heaven was a blueprint.” But it’s also about what it means to look back on a life and, with total honesty, take stock.

 

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read a Q&A with Urrea for The House of Broken Angels.

This article was originally published in the March 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
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