Thursday, March 26, 2009
Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea
To be published May 19, 2009.
Well, this adult novel is definitely unique! Nayeli is nineteen and lives in a dying, poor, rural, quaint Mexican town. When Mexican bandits (the police) start harassing the town, she and her friends decide to travel to America and bring back seven strong Mexican men to save their town. Yep, she and her friends spent a lot of time watching westerns in the movie theater! But her town really is dying because there are no young men. And so the adventure begins. It's a struggle to cross the border illegally, and the secondary characters are wonderfully drawn. The humor is subtle (in places) and outrageously Hispanic in other places. A friend of mine called this book Mexican magical realism, and I think that's a good description. But after reading it, I'm not sure if I loved the book. It was interesting and different, but I didn't want to stay up late reading it, and that's a true test for me.