Into The Beautiful North

Into The Beautiful North, Luis Alberto Urrea
5.3.12 – 5.5.12

Reading a book about a strong Mexican woman seems like a fantastic way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, eh? I picked up this book on Thursday when I was having just a horrible time. Truth is, I get slapped down with bouts of depression from time to time, and I’ve learned that the best way to cope is to escape into a book when everything else is too painful. Urrea is an author I’ve had recommended to me multiple times before, but I never could get through the first few pages of The Hummingbird’s Daughter before getting distracted with something else.

I’m beyond glad that I gave Urrea another chance, because he didn’t disappoint–not in the least. This book was a beautiful, whirlwind escape for me to hide out in for a few days. Reading was quick and flowed smoothly. The dialogue was the perfect blend of English and Spanish, seamlessly creating an impression of their interchangeable, imperfect flow of languages.

The story itself is fairly simple, and outright tells you it copies The Magnificent Seven, but Urrea uses the formulaic plot to showcase Mexican cultures, Mexican relationships with Americans, as well as other countries, and it’s an unabashed look at how Americans treat strangers in our country, without generalizations. Which is impressive.


2 thoughts on “Into The Beautiful North

  1. I often find myself escaping to books when I’m feeling depressed, too. Or stressed, for that matter. Do you find you turn to happy books to cheer you up, or depressing books to either have company in your depression or think, “at least my life doesn’t suck THAT much”? I think my general depressed go-to is a world completely different from my own so I have relatively no chance of my mind wandering back to what’s going on with my own life. Read: I usually escape to gothic or fantasy novels. The young adult Beautiful Creatures series is a good one, since I don’t think there’s a chance I’d become a girl with mysterious powers who likes to spend her time exploring underground passages to magical worlds. But I ‘spose a girl can dream? πŸ™‚

  2. Oh. My. God. Let’s pause a moment on my actual response and let me tell you a story about how I was super depressed and didn’t know what to read but I vaguely remembered you writing something about a good Y.A. series that was your favorite on facebook, so I told David to drive me to the bookstore to try and find it. I couldn’t remember the title and didn’t have my phone so I couldn’t text you and ask, so I ended up with Into The Beautiful North instead. So…. thanks for writing it down in another place so I can pick it up. This whole month is full of very un-fun things, so I’m sure I’ll need another pick me up.

    No, onto your actual question–I think it doesn’t matter if it’s happy or sad, just that it’s radically different from anything I’m experiencing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s