The House Of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
Luis Alberto Urrea’s mastery and use of language is an experience of pure pleasure. Accolades and awards only reveal one aspect of his abilities. In order to really get it, you must taste it yourself.
The House Of Broken Angels was my first sampling, and I'll soon be going back for more. My only question now is whether to read more of Urrea’s fiction, or look into his prolific non-fiction and poetry. But I digress.
Chronicling a family history that crosses the US/Mexico border and spans generations, The House Of Broken Angels is a celebration of life, a coming to terms with death, a vivid, sensuous reflection of life’s lessons from the different perspectives of de La Cruz family members.
Big Angel de La Cruz, a willful man and patriarch of the vast and complex de La Cruz clan is planning one last legendary birthday party when his mother passes away. A punctual pragmatist–in spite of the world working against his strict schedule–Big Angel decides to merge his birthday and Mother’s funeral into a family event double feature. The magnitude of such a gathering brings the far-flung clan together with a unique dynamism. The legendary Big Angel is the rightful focus, but what shines are the vignette-like glimpses of individual memories as a collective whole.
The del La Cruz family is and has been broken for some time, each member harboring their own mythologies, secrets and paranoias. The intricacies of familial relationships are on full display as the stories of Big Angel, Little Angel, Perla, Yndio, Lalo and many others intertwine over generations; each member seeking their sense of place and belonging as time ruthlessly moves on.
The House Of Broken Angels is a vibrant reminder that the soul resides in our relationships, familial and otherwise. The passing of time, and the ability to reflect provide much needed nourishment for the soul.
Review by Joel
$16.99 Trade Paperback
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