Into the Beautiful North
Luis Alberto Urrea
Finished reading 2/20/2012
I admit that when I first read the synopsis of this novel, I was not sure if I would like the book. As a legal immigrant to the United States, I knew firsthand how the process for my family took so long that when the petition took effect, three of my older siblings were over twenty-one and were not eligible to immigrate.
As I started reading the book and understanding the characters, I felt my reservations go away. Nayeli and her gang of teenagers travel from Sinaloa, Mexico to the US (Los Yunaites) to find men to bring back to their town beleaguered by bandits. All their adult men have left for the greener pastures of the north. I felt that the author fully developed his characters in the first half of the book, then when the momentum built up, the plot unraveled so quickly that I was startled to finish the book so soon.
I saw Luis Alberto Urrea at last week's One Book, One San Diego even. He is quite hilarious! He said that all the characters of his book were inspired by people and places in his town. I love Atomiko, Tacho, and Missionary Matt. I loved that the places mentioned in California were places I am familiar with. The book is real and palpable. I can't wait to read his other books!