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.