The House of Broken Angels

The House of Broken Angels

A Novel

Book - 2018
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Prizewinning and bestselling writer Luis Urrea has written his Mexican coming-to-America story, his masterpiece. Destined to sit alongside other classic immigrant novels, THE HOUSE OF BROKEN ANGELS is a sprawling and epic family saga helmed by patriarch Big Angel that takes place over the weekend of the final birthday party he is throwing for himself at home in San Diego, occasioned by his imminent death at the hands of that familiar killer cancer.

But when Big Angel's mother Mama America passes as the party nears, he must plan her funeral as well, and so decides to throw two family affairs in one weekend: a farewell double-header. Among the attendants is his namesake Little Angel, who flies in from Seattle to pay his respects and say his goodbyes, and comes face to face with the people with whom he shared a parent but as the weekend proceeds to remind him, not a life. This is the story of Big Angel and Little Angel, of what it means to be a Mexican in America, to have lived two lives across one border - and about the ravaging power of death to shore up the bits of life you have forgotten, whether by choice or not. A finely wrought portrait of this deeply complex family, THE HOUSE OF BROKEN ANGELS is purely Urrean: teeming with brilliance and humor, authentic at every turn - this novel cements Urrea as a master truth-teller of the Mexican-American experience.

Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316154888
Branch Call Number: FIC URREA 2018
Characteristics: ix, 326 pages ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

Across one bittersweet weekend in their San Diego neighborhood, revelers mingle and celebrate the lives of family patriarch Miguel "Big Angel" De La Cruz and his mother, recounting the many tales that have passed into family lore.

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Aug 05, 2018

I am shocked that there are not any comments yet for this book! It is well worth reading!

This novel takes place over two days (with lots of flashbacks and reminiscences) and tells the story of a Mexican American family in California, focusing on Big Angel (who is dying of cancer, but who has gathered the whole family for his mother’s funeral and his last birthday party, on the same weekend) and Little Angel (his half-brother, who was raised by his white mother). There is a whole cast of characters in this large extended family. The stories are both funny and sad; the weekend is bittersweet.

In the Author’s Note, we learn that this novel was inspired by the author’s own brother’s death, so some of the stories are true (though much of it is pure fiction).

The author was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist for The Devil’s Highway, a work of nonfiction.


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