Wednesday, August 21, 2013

HerMamas Book Review: The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande

The love of reading is one of the best gifts my Mom ever gave me. It is something I hope to pass on to my own kids.

Recently my Comadre sent "The Distance Between" by Reyna Grande over for me to read. Chicano literature is my absolute favorite so I knew that I would enjoy this read. I didn't realize how much I would love this book.

For many Mexican-American families there is an immigration story somewhere in the family history. My family's immigration story involves my grandfather, the bracero program and a dramatic train ride. Reyna's story is personal and hers alone, but it is parallel to so many other families stories. In the book, she recounts the heartbreaking and too familiar story of how the "American Dream" can tear a Mexican family apart. How children are left behind and forced to grow up too quickly and how that affects them later in life.

In the story Reyna's father leaves for the United States when Reyna is very young. He is gone for most of her childhood. The only real way she knows her father in by the framed photograph in her home. This story also shows how the reality of living in the Unites States is hard and brings on a new set of problems.

I have read many different stories about immigration, but have never read a first account from the child's perspective. This story had me in tears and in complete disbelief. I could never imagine being so young and dealing with an absent parents, poverty and never losing hope. This book is a fast read and one that you will pass on to your friends!

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